Disclosure: I am participating in a paid outreach program for Consumer Reports, however all opinions presented here are mine.
A few years ago I had just started a new job, when BAM – it happened. It wasn’t a particularly dreadful winter day. It had just started to lightly snow and I was walking the same pathway to work that I had done many times. I blinked and before I knew it I had slipped on some black ice and fallen right on my behind. My first thought of course was embarrassment. There I was, lying on the ground (patas arriba like my dad would say) with my things thrown everywhere. It wasn’t until I tried to make the last few steps into the hospital (where I worked) that I realized I had a problem. I had done more than bruise my ego, I seriously hurt my ankle. An x-ray later confirmed what I didn’t want to believe, that I had broken my ankle, and with that I had my first serious accident as an adult woman.
It would take months of rest, casts, crutches and physical therapy to get me back on my feet, but I was lucky. I had insurance. I can’t even imagine how expensive it would have been without it. This was a crazy freak accident, but isn’t that how it happens all the time? The last thing I wanted to be worried about would be whether or not I could afford to get hurt, or sick. Who really can? Fast forward a few years and thankfully no crazy accidents, but life is messy, and I don’t want to be left out there with my pants down (ha)!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of amazing people from all different walks of life. A lot of them are freelancers, and women starting their own businesses. This is the perfect opportunity to get health insurance at an affordable price. Open enrollment ends on March 31st. Once this date passes, you can’t get covered by health insurance until next year!
Unlike previous years, the majority of consumers will only be able to purchase private health insurance during the annual Open Enrollment Period. Except for specific, special circumstances, you can only buy coverage for this year until March 31, whether you’re shopping through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace or outside it. This is a big change from the past.
You are still free to change your health plan every year if you want to, but you have to wait. Open enrollment for next year will commence on Nov. 15, 2014 and run through Jan. 15, 2015. But coverage purchased during this period will only kick in January 1, 2015 at the earliest. Simply put, if you don’t enroll by March 31, 2014, you won’t be covered by insurance until at least January 1, 2015.
I admit, I can procrastinated on a lot of things, but this is something you shouldn’t! Don’t put your health at risk. It’s super easy to sign up, and Consumer Reports has a range of independent and unbiased health insurance experts who are available to advise and answer questions on Obamacare 7-days a week. I know cost is a big factor for everyone these days, but you may be passing up free money to help pay your health insurance. Did you know that more than three-quarters of the people who have purchased a plan through their Health Insurance Marketplace will be receiving financial assistance in paying their premiums, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s quite possible that you could be one of them.
Have a happy and healthy week!