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ACA Open Enrollment for 2016

Cropped SingleCare logo By | August 7, 2015

Learn how to maintain coverage for health-related problems while avoiding outrageous costs.

No matter how well you plan for it, life is messy and unpredictable. And yet, insurance plans like to fit our lives and health needs into nice, neat boxes. While these molds attempt to help administrators ensure proper care for everyone, they often lead to mistakes and confusion when they’re put into practice.

For example, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government has instituted a three-month Open Enrollment Period each year, during which individuals may apply for standard health care coverage.

And while that window may seem pretty generous, a lot that can happen outside of those three months. Life is unpredictable, leaving many of us struggling to find a plan that’s both affordable and promises to provide coverage during the other nine months of the year.

Special Enrollment Period

When our lives change dramatically, our health coverage must change with it. Luckily, the ACA classifies some of these changes as so-called Qualifying Life Events, according to eHealth, which include getting married, having a child, suffering a death in the family, and gaining citizenship.

Individuals or families that experience such an event are allowed an additional Special Enrollment Period, during which they can alter the scope of their insurance plans. This means that, even though the three-month Open Enrollment Period is over, you still might be able to make critical adjustments to your healthcare plan.

Qualifying Life Events — which also include government error, a sudden loss in health coverage, or moving to a new state — are, for the most part, fairly common. For 60 days after the life event, citizens have the right to sign up for a new, more appropriate form of healthcare that better suits their new needs.

You can use several available checklists to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which you can apply for online or by phone.

Seeking Out Alternatives

But despite these improvements to the way we manage our health plans, the facts about the ACA’s different provisions and rules are still murky to most Americans.

Even if you’ve been through a Qualifying Life Event this year, you may not have been aware of the rights it gives you until long after the Special Enrollment Period has passed.

Fortunately for anyone seeking an affordable, flexible method of getting health coverage, there’s SingleCare, which provides immediate and affordable access to medical treatment for the insured, underinsured, and uninsured alike.

This makes it possible for those who are stuck with a plan that no longer fits them to seek out the specific procedure they need without paying the full cost.

With its sizeable network, SingleCare allows customers to schedule appointments with doctors, specialists, and pharmacies the moment they need it — not months before — and even provides helpful cost estimates.

Through its partnership with a network of hospitals and physicians, SingleCare is able to reduce its members’ health costs by an average of 50%.

Life-changing events occur without warning, and when your health insurance plan isn’t able to adapt to your new needs, SingleCare has you covered.

It’s important to remain aware of which insurance plans work best for you, and even if long-term coverage is too expensive, you still deserve to have access to affordable, quality healthcare. When your insurance is no longer able to meet your needs, look to SingleCare the next time you find yourself in need.

(Main image credit: James Palinsad/flickr)