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To make sure you have health insurance for 2020, you have to enroll between Nov. 1, 2019 and Dec. 15, 2019. If you miss the Dec. 15 deadline, you could be locked out of health insurance until 2021 AND forced to pay 100% of your medical bills. It’s not worth the risk, especially when financial help is available (so most people can find a plan for $50 to $100 a month).
In past years, the enrollment period was much longer. But the Trump administration is taking every effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and has cut this time in half. That means it’s more important than ever for you, your family and your friends to know about the shortened deadline and your rights when it comes to health insurance and health care.
What is Marketplace Open Enrollment?
Marketplace Open Enrollment is the yearly period when you can enroll in a health insurance plan. People have the option to either stay with their existing health insurance plan, shop for new plan that better meets their needs or, if you don’t already have insurance, find a plan that works best for you!
Who is Marketplace Open Enrollment for?
Marketplace Open Enrollment is for people who want to buy their health insurance on their own — not through an employer. If your employer offers health insurance (or if your spouse’s employer offers health insurance), they will have a separate open enrollment period for you. If you are on Medicaid or Medicare, those programs will reach out to you to let you know when you can re-enroll.
Why should you care about Open Enrollment?
Because we all need to stay healthy, and access to professional health care providers can do just that! If you miss the Dec. 15 deadline for Marketplace Open Enrollment, you could be locked out of health insurance until 2021 and have to pay for 100% of your medical bills. That can get very expensive if you become seriously ill or suffer a major injury that requires you to go to the hospital for something other than your regular checkups. Additionally, if you are living with a chronic health condition like HIV and need to see health care providers more regularly or have multiple prescriptions, these visits and medications are significantly cheaper when you are covered by health insurance.
Need help? Have questions?
If you are living with HIV, call AFC’s informational hotline at 312-784-9060 to speak with a certified in-person counselor who can answer your questions and help facilitate your enrollment into a health care plan. The phone line is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you are looking for health care coverage and providers who are transgender and gender-nonconforming-affirming, contact Brendon Tero (firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-220-3930) or Devin Nicolai (email@example.com, 773-225-2845) at Chicago House and Social Service Agency’s TransLife program to help navigate you through the enrollment process and find your best options. Also, ask them about their study on insurance enrollment!