Looking for Health Coverage for 2021? Open Enrollment Tips

If you are looking for health insurance to cover you for 2021, the time to enroll is just around the corner. You’ll likely have questions whether you are new to the individual market or have been buying health insurance for years.

Getting those questions answered can help you feel peace of mind when you are making your insurance decisions. From knowing when to enroll to assessing your coverage options, we have a team of licensed agents that can help compare your specific health needs to the options available in your area, so that you can make a confident decision on which health plan is best for you.

Take a look at our guide below to see when to enroll, what information you may need and how we can help.

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is the allotted time each year that most Americans who are looking for individual and family plans may enroll in Affordable Care Act health insurance for the upcoming year. If you do not enroll in a plan during the OEP, you may not be able to purchase ACA-compliant coverage for the year unless you experience a qualifying life event that allows for a Special Enrollment Period. ACA-alternatives are available all year round and may be an option for an individual without any pre-existing conditions or not needing the 10 essential health benefits that ACA plans are required to cover.

November 1, 2020

Open enrollment starts; this is the first day you can enroll in or renew ACA health plans to cover you during 2021.

December 15, 2020

Open enrollment ends1; this is the LAST day you can enroll in or renew ACA health plans to cover you during 2021.

January 1, 2021

2021 coverage starts for those who enroll in or renew ACA plans by the end of OEP, December 15, 2020.

1Some State-run exchanges have extended the deadline. CA, CO, DC, MN, PA, NV, MA, NJ, NY. See specific state exchanges for their enrollment deadline

We can help

Through VelaPoint Insurance, you have exclusive access to a free health and supplemental insurance shopping service, staffed by licensed insurance experts in all 50 states. Shop, compare and enroll – all in one easy call.

Using our services is no added cost to you plus our agents are contracted with a variety of carriers, to ensure product availability for our customers. Our agents have been trained and adhere to all federal and state regulations and we enforce strict quality assurance guidelines to stay compliant and provide trusted service. Our licensed agents can give you advice from their educated background while comparing options in your area and your particular situation to help customize options for you.

Speak to an agent to:

  • Get information on products in your area
  • See what health insurance fits your budget
  • Learn what coverage could best fit your needs
  • Help determine if you’re eligible for cost-share reductions and premium tax credits on ACA plans.
  • Ask questions
  • Get an understanding of your insurance options
  • Enroll in coverage with the assistance of a licensed expert

Customers Will Need

Gathering some information prior to calling can help the process while you work with one of our licensed agents.

  • Annual household income
  • Have email access
  • An hour for consultation and enrollment
  • Each dependent household member’s:
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Preferred doctors
  • Preferred hospitals
  • Any prescriptions

You have Options

 If you live in an area with limited health insurance options, find the premiums too expensive, or your doctor isn’t in-network, traditional health insurance isn’t your only option. Plans like short-term medical or limited medical may offer other benefit options at a lower cost. Short-term2 medical coverage has also been extended to 364-day coverage terms in some states.

VelaPoint OE Hours Nov 1st – Dec 15th

We have special hours during Open Enrollment that accommodates to the high demand of customers needing our services. Take a look at our hours and call 866-998-7493 to speak to a licensed agent.

Monday – Friday

6 AM – 8 PM Pacific
(9 AM – 11 PM Eastern)

Saturday

9 AM – 5 Pm Pacific
(12 PM – 8 PM Eastern)

Sunday

8 am – 6 pm Pacific
(11 am – 9 pm Eastern)

Best dates and times to call

Open enrollment is a busy time for exchanges, agencies and enrollment services. There can be times that there are high call volumes and hold times may be long to speak to an agent. Here are some suggestions to encourage our customers to call during these lower volume hours to avoid longer hold times:

  • November 23rd – 28th
  • Saturdays
  • Before 2 pm PST (5 pm EST)
  • Please note VelaPoint will be closed on November 26th for Thanksgiving

An uninformed insurance plan purchase can result in overpaying or being unprotected. Speaking to licensed agent gives you the upper hand for finding coverage that fits your needs and your budget. VelaPoint insurance is here as a resource to understand your options and find plans that meet your needs.  Our agents provide expert, unbiased advice and assistance in shopping for your insurance needs. Call 866-998-7493 today to have a needs analysis and see what coverage options are available in your area.

The December 15 deadline is for federal exchanges. Some state-based exchanges have an extended Open Enrollment time frame. 
ACA = Short for the “Affordable Care Act.” ACA health insurance plans meet the minimum essential coverage requirements and cover pre-existing conditions as well as the 10 essential health benefits (e.g. maternity care, mental health, preventative care, prescription drugs, and more). ACA plans also offer subsidies and premium tax credits to eligible individuals based on income. These subsidies and credits are designed to lower your ACA plan’s monthly premium. Individuals may only enroll in ACA coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period (November 1st – December 15th) unless they have a Qualifying Life Event. Visit Healthcare.gov for more information.
Short Term Medical (STM) and other ACA-alternative plans are medically underwritten and are not required to meet the minimum essential coverage requirements or provide the 10 essential health benefits as mandated by the ACA. This means that non-ACA plans may not cover certain types of services, including but not limited to: maternity care, mental health, preventative care, and prescription drugs. Non-ACA plans are also not required to cover pre-existing conditions. STM plans vary per state. Consult with a licensed agent for details