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enrolling with ACA with 2 months left on employer insurance
Old 11-04-2015, 06:34 AM   #1
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enrolling with ACA with 2 months left on employer insurance

Hi,First of all, I would like to apologized if this was already answered in the other threads. Tried to research it but could not find any answers regarding this.

I will be terminated as of Dec 31,2015 and will be on employers health insurance till Dec 31, 2015. Since I will need health insurance starting Jan.1,2016, Can I enroll for ACA now to be covered on Jan 2016 or do I have wait for my insurance coverage to end before applying in ACA? I believe there is a one month gap period, which I am trying to avoid.

I was hoping to use a broker but only 2 responded to my emails and said they will be calling me but have not received any calls from them yet.(anyone recommend a broker?) I am now thinking if I will just go to the website and do it myself. First time to go on ACA and a little bit anxious. I want to be sure I get the coverage I need. I'm based in NY and will not be eligible for subsidy for 2016 due to income that I will be getting next year.

Thank you very much for any help or suggestions on this.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:31 AM   #2
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You may be eligible for COBRA, so it would be a good idea to compare it to the ACA plans available on the NY state exchange. If you have already done this and decided on the ACA, you can enroll and pick a plan between now and 12/15/15 for coverage to begin 1/1/16.

During enrollment, you will be asked for your annual income. This is your anticipated income for 2016. If it is expected to be significantly different from the past, you will be asked to submit documentation such as the notice from the employer.

A word of caution. November is a "cross over period" where people can begin coverage on 12/1/15 or 1/1/16. Be careful to choose 1/1/16 and not December as in this thread: Plan Update Gone Bad
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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When looking at individual health plans, be sure to check out the network of providers. This often is a much shorter list than what I've seen with employer's plans. I agree with the other post of checking out COBRA. I am using that before going to individual plans. For me it is more cost effective. However, this may not be true for everyone as company plans have greatly different cost structures depending upon demographics and other factors.
On the ACA plans... if you think you will qualify for a subsidy, you must get your insurance through the government's marketplace.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesaco View Post
I will be terminated as of Dec 31,2015 and will be on employers health insurance till Dec 31, 2015. Since I will need health insurance starting Jan.1,2016, Can I enroll for ACA now to be covered on Jan 2016 or do I have wait for my insurance coverage to end before applying in ACA? I believe there is a one month gap period, which I am trying to avoid.
It's open enrollment now for plans beginning on 1/1/2016. You don't have to wait for anything. That said, when you apply, you may want to wait until it asks you about your situation in 2016, not now (as in "Will you be covered by an employer plan in 2016" compared to "are you *now* covered by an employer plan). I'd wait until after November 15 to do this, because until then some people may be eligible to enroll on 12/1/2015 if they have a qualifying life change to do it. After 11/15, the earliest coverage start date for a new application is 1/1/2016, so the questions should relate to your situation on 1/1/2016 rather than as it will be on 12/1/2015.

You will have until December 15 to apply for coverage starting January 1, though I wouldn't wait until the last minute. Any time between November 16 and December 15 should be fine to assure "the system" assumes a 1/1/2016 coverage start date.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:56 AM   #5
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Thank you so much for the replies. It is a lot of help. Unfortunately taking cobra might be too much since it will cost about $2,500/month. I'll think ACA will be cheaper than cobra (even without subsidy since I will not be eligible due to income) and I will start researching the plans right away but will wait after Nov 15 to apply.

Ziggy29, I will do what you have suggested to enroll after Nov 15 to be sure my coverage is for 2016. Thank you

Income will only drop off in 2017 and I should be able to get a subsidy by then..
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jesaco View Post
I'll think ACA will be cheaper than cobra (even without subsidy since I will not be eligible due to income) and I will start researching the plans right away but will wait after Nov 15 to apply.
It's not clear from your post but if have income such that you don't qualify for a subsidy, you don't have to use the marketplace exchange to buy insurance, you can buy it from where you want like ehealthinsurance or the insurance company directly. You only need the marketplace for financial assistance.

Also if you accept COBRA you must stay on it until next open enrollment period. You can not drop it voluntarily and switch to an exchange plan.
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