Today, November 1, 2020, those seeking a government subsidy to help pay for their health insurance premiums will sign up for coverage to start coverage on January 1, 2020. You can go to healthcare.gov now to view health insurance plans and see if you may qualify for a subsidy through December 15, 2020, which is when the open window closes to sign up. You can use this link to see if you may qualify for a government subsidy to go toward your health insurance plan in 2021.
Also included in the government’s marketplace are a few insurance plans that comply with health savings account (HSA) regulations. Those who choose and HSA compliant insurance plan can stash money away for a rainy medical day or accumulate money tax-free to help them with medical expenses in their retirement. The government marketplace also has some dental insurance plans listed on its website, which you can choose at the same time of your health insurance.
If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.
- If you have job-based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you’ll pay full price unless your employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
- If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.
Choosing a health insurance plan can be complicated. Knowing just a few things before you compare plans can make it simpler.
- The 4 “metal” categories: There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These categories show how you and your plan share costs. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
- Your total costs for health care: You pay a monthly bill to your insurance company (a “premium”), even if you don’t use medical services that month. You pay out-of-pocket costs, including a deductible, when you get care. It’s important to think about both kinds of costs when shopping for a plan.
- Plan and network types — HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO: Some plan types allow you to use almost any doctor or health care facility. Others limit your choices or charge you more if you use providers outside their network.
Remember that plans also may differ in quality. Learn more about quality ratings.
Open Enrollment for 2021 runs from Sunday, November 1 through Tuesday, December 15, 2020. Starting November 1, you can log in to HealthCare.gov, fill out an application, and enroll in a 2021 Marketplace health plan. Enroll by December 15, 2020, and coverage starts January 1, 2021.