Marketplace Healthcare Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1

October 25, 2016 : Allie Freeland

Editor’s Note: Healthcare Open Enrollment through the Marketplace opens soon. Put the following dates on your calendar!

Can you believe it? It’s almost the end of the year. While you might have the holidays, time with family and friends, and other fun events on your mind, you need to prepare for the more serious matters in your life, like health insurance. 

Listen Up!

If you are currently covered by a Marketplace plan, or, if you need health insurance coverage, listen up! It soon will be the time to choose your health insurance plan for 2017. Marketplace open enrollment for 2017 begins on November 1, 2016 and you have until January 31, 2017 to enroll. (Your 2016 plan will expire on December 31, 2016.)

If you have a Marketplace health insurance plan this year, you may be automatically enrolled in a plan — however this is not the case for everyone. It’s possible you may be enrolled in another similar plan if your exact plan is not available for 2016. And sometimes, even if you had coverage through the Marketplace, you may need to re-enroll for next year’s coverage.

If you are already enrolled in a plan, you also have the choice of changing your plan each year. Take time to review your current coverage and choose a plan that fits your unique needs – one with the maximum benefits available, too.

Why Should You Care?

Under the Affordable Care Act, most American citizens living are required to have health insurance, so do not overlook obtaining coverage. If you don’t already have health insurance, you may need to select a health insurance plan and enroll when it’s available to avoid penalties.

Who is Eligible to Enroll?

A wide-range of people have Marketplace insurance eligibility — you just have to meet some basic qualifications:

  • You must live in the United States.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present).
  • You can’t be incarcerated.

Additionally, if you are self-employed or run a small business, you can enroll in a health insurance plan through the Marketplace for individual and group coverage.

(Do you qualify? Find out here.)

Disregard This Message If…

There are some cases where you do not need to worry about the upcoming deadline:

  1. If you have health insurance coverage through your employer. If your employer’s health insurance coverage is not so ideal, you can choose to enroll in a Marketplace plan instead of your employer’s coverage. However, you will not normally qualify for the premium tax credit unless you meet certain qualifications.
  2. For members of the military, you are likely considered covered if you have TRICARE or are enrolled in a Veterans health care program, you do not need to enroll.
  3. If you are retired and covered by Medicare.

Still have questions? Visit Healthcare.gov and view more Healthcare posts on Block Talk.

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Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.