How to Get Health Insurance Immediately

How to Get Health Insurance Immediately

Health insurance is important to have, but it can be expensive. Luckily, there are several ways to get coverage that starts immediately.

One way is to buy coverage through the Marketplace. Another way is to qualify for a special enrollment period. Finally, you can also purchase short-term coverage that can start as soon as you apply.

1. Check with your employer

Many large employers offer their employees a health reimbursement account (HRA) to reimburse for individual market coverage. These arrangements can be more affordable and flexible than employer-sponsored plans.

Your opportunity to sign up for your employer’s health insurance is limited to a short window each year, known as open enrollment. Typically this occurs in the fall for coverage starting January 1. However, your employer’s plan year may be different than the calendar year.

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In addition, certain situational changes can trigger a special enrollment period that allows you to make plan changes or enroll in new coverage. These situations are often known as qualifying life events. However, what if these unforeseen circumstances happen outside of your open enrollment or during a special enrollment period? This is where it can get tricky.

2. Check with your state

The government created health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, to help people get affordable coverage. These exchanges are available in every state. To find out whether you qualify for a health insurance marketplace, click here.

While it may seem cheaper and safer to wait to buy health insurance until you need it, this is generally a bad idea. Health insurance is important because it can help cover the costs of unexpected events, such as a broken ankle or sliced hand.

You can enroll in a health insurance plan through your state marketplace during an Open Enrollment Period or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. The Marketplace can also help you find providers that accept your new health insurance. Just enter a provider’s name and the tool will show you which health plans their network includes.

3. Check with your health insurance provider

If you haven’t received your plan coverage summary or are unsure whether you completed enrollment, reach out to your health insurance company. Your provider should be able to tell you which plan you are enrolled in, when your coverage started and how to pay your premium.

When you call your health insurance company, be prepared to go through their interactive voice response system or IVR. This will help you avoid the lengthy wait times to talk to a live person.

It is also important to check that your healthcare providers are in your insurance network before scheduling an appointment. Many healthcare providers will have a website or notice in their office that lists which insurance plans they accept. However, these sites are not updated constantly and may not be accurate.

5. Check with your bank

It’s important to make sure your health insurance coverage starts when it’s supposed to. You can do this by checking with your bank. Your health insurance provider should provide you with a way to pay, and you can usually do this online. Be wary of anyone who asks you for money or personal information to get or keep your health insurance coverage. This could be a scam. You should never give out this information to strangers.

6. Check with your credit card company

Many health insurance providers offer the option to pay with credit cards. This can be convenient and can help you earn rewards or points for each payment you make. However, using a credit card can also impact your credit score depending on how you manage it.

If you use a credit card to pay for your health insurance premium, it’s important to make your payments on time. Missing even one monthly payment could lead to late fees or a negative mark on your credit report, which can affect your FICO(r) score.

Remember, only your health insurance provider can tell you whether you enrolled correctly or are eligible for coverage. If someone else contacts you to ask for money or personal information related to health insurance, don’t respond.

 

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