Experts Explain Why You Should Enroll in ACA Plans Sooner Rather Than Later

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)-Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act began last Wednesday but if you are taking your time to sign up for a plan, experts said you may want to consider picking up your pace.

“In previous years, you could go all the way to January 31st to enroll in the plan. Enrollment just started Wednesday, November 1st and consumers have until midnight Wednesday, December 15th. It’s a much shorter window, 45 days. If we don’t have them in by December 15th, unfortunately, they are out for the entire year of 2018,” said Joel Lourie of Lourie Life and Health.

If you miss the enrollment deadline, you could be hit with a penalty. “If they do not get healthcare through the Affordable Care Act or they don’t have healthcare through their employer or medicare or medicaid, they may face a penalty for going without health care insurance. That penalty is $695 per person or 2.5 percent of their income. Whichever is greater,” said Rozalynn Goodwin, VP for Engagement of the South Carolina Hospital Association.

Picking the right plan can be a little confusing. That’s why experts said it’s best get professional advice before making a decision. “If they do not get healthcare through the Affordable Care Act or they don;t have healthcare through their employer or Medicare or Medicaid, they may face a penalty for going without health care insurance. That penalty is $695 per person or 2.5 percent of their income. Whichever is greater,” said Goodwin.

No matter who you choose to get help from, experts said it’s best to get a head start. “Healthcare.gov really gets bogged down the last 24-48 hours. It takes a lot longer to get an enrollment process. Sometimes it goes out completely, so you don’t need to make it today or tomorrow although it’s fine if you do, but don’t wait until the last minute either,” said Lourie.

For more information on the ACA deadline, visit signupsc.com and for help selecting a plan, check out the South Carolina Hospital Association and Lourie Life and Health websites here and here.

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