If you’re prone to procrastination, freeze. Don’t move a muscle until you read this. From one procrastinator to another, signing up for medical health insurance plans is one thing you shouldn’t put off. For most people, the only time of year that you can sign up for health plans is during the annual Open Enrollment period. Open Enrollment ends on January 15th in most states, (you can check your state’s deadline here) so rip off the bandaid and check out your options. Just trust us on this one.
The biggest reason not to wait is apparent: You might miss your chance to sign up for Obamacare and have to wait an entire year for another shot. The implications of that are significant. Any doctor visits, from regular checkups to a trip to the ER, will result in a soul-crushing bill. The average cost of an ambulance ride is about $1,200. Not sure about you, but we’d prefer not to have to Uber to the hospital. If you’re prescribed medication, you’ll have to pay full price for that too.
Let’s say you don’t miss open enrollment. Instead, you wait until the very last minute to enroll. (Been there, done that!) If you wait to sign up for a medical health insurance plan, you’ll have to make a snap decision. You won’t have enough time to review your options carefully. If you have questions, you won’t have time to get answers. You also may miss out on getting to visit the healthcare providers you like the most. Any health coverage is better than none at all, but if you give yourself more time, you’ll be able to choose a plan that best supports your healthcare needs on a budget you can afford.
We can’t make any promises, but in some cases, there are exceptions to the open enrollment rule. If certain life changes or circumstances apply to you, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Open enrollment only happens once a year, but it’s possible to lose coverage in the middle of the year.
Special Enrollment Periods give people the opportunity to stay covered if something affects their previous health coverage. If you have a qualifying life event, you must apply for special enrollment within 60 days.
There are many changes that qualify, but these are a few of the most common:
If you were enrolled in the wrong plan by mistake due to misinformation, technical errors, or incorrect plan details, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period as well. For more details on which events and circumstances qualify, read this in-depth overview, or fill out a Special Enrollment Period application to find out for sure if you’re eligible.
When you’re feeling fine, enrolling in a health insurance plan can feel like a waste of money. It’s not. The benefits of being insured far outweigh the drawbacks.
We can’t think of any more cons. We tried. Enrolling isn’t a party, but it’s way easier than most people realize. Enroll with HealthBird, and you’ll have a list of customized health plan quotes in a matter of minutes. Just answer a few easy questions, and you’re good to go. HealthBird members also have access to a growing list of tools to help them manage their health. They’re completely free to use, with no annoying in-app purchases or hidden fees. You’ll pay the same low price for coverage as you would if you shopped for a health plan elsewhere, only with less confusion, less stress, and more support.
The short version? Quit procrastinating and check “sign up for health insurance” off your list.
You can thank us later.