Open Signup for Obamacare Coming November 15
Healthcare is your right AND responsibility. In case you haven’t heard by now, you have the right to purchase “affordable” (affordability may vary!) health insurance, regardless of whether you have a preexisting medical condition. Not only that, but you are required to have health insurance, otherwise you could be fined at least $325.
If you didn’t have healthcare insurance coverage this year (which may mean you will have a fine on your tax bill in April), you will have the opportunity to purchase 2015 coverage beginning November 15. This is when Obamacare’s1officially known as the “Affordable Care Act,” which passed in 2010 “open enrollment” begins, which is the period when you can shop for and buy insurance from the online marketplace your state uses. Most states use the federal healthcare.gov website, which is apparently MUCH improved from last year’s disastrous rollout. But some states have their own site, which can be accessed from healthcare.gov.
If you already have insurance from Obamacare, you will automatically be re-enrolled, but you may want to take another online shopping trip this year to see if you can get a lower rate or better coverage.
The idea behind the online marketplaces is that it gives you a single place where you can compare different plans from several insurance companies and pick one that best fits your needs. Not only is this convenient, but it also keeps prices low (in theory) as it forces insurance companies to compete more vigorously for your business. It’s mostly been successful in doing so, depending on the state.