December 15 is your deadline!

While Open Enrollment doesn’t officially end until January 31, 2016, December 15 is the most important deadline you should know now.

If you enroll in Obamacare on or before December 15, your coverage can start as early as possible on January 1, 2016. But if you enroll any time after December 15, your coverage will be delayed well into the New Year.

Now that you know to find a health plan before December 15, here’s a second piece of important information: You must pay your first premium in order to activate your coverage. That means you cannot use your health plan until you make your first payment.

The same goes for the months to follow: If you fail to make any of your monthly premium payments, you could lose your coverage. And even if you’re allowed to pay for your first month with a credit card, you’ll need to contact your health insurance provider with your bank information for all subsequent payments.

2016 Health Insurance

As we celebrate the holiday traditions that come with this time of year – hanging Christmas lights, sending holiday cards and gift shopping – there is one other tradition we must complete that is not quite so festive: Open enrollment has started, and it’s time to select your insurance plan for 2016.
What’s Going on With Obamacare?
Obamacare has covered more people and benefitted those with preexisting conditions, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Premiums are rising, enrollment projections are down, and many of the insurance co-ops associated with the program are losing money or going out of business. United Health Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, said it may withdraw from the marketplace next year.
It’s unclear what the future holds but one thing is for sure –it’s inevitable the health insurance market has and will continue to change.
For the short term, there are options to consider, and I am here to help.
Your Options
Insurance options outside of Obamacare are available, and it’s not worth it to not be insured. If you can afford health insurance but choose not to purchase it, you will have to pay a penalty. For 2016, the penalty is 2.5 percent of your household income, or $695 per person and $347.50 per child, whichever is higher.
I can help you select an insurance plan or program that is right for your and your family. Consider these options:
Sign up through RiversInsGroup.com website. You can avoid the marketplace altogether and sign up for the insurance you need on our website.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA).  HSAs offer more tax benefits than most other plans, and is an incentive to save for future health expenses. 
Supplemental plans. Supplemental plans with high deductibles and catastrophic coverage are increasing in popularity. These plans give you a way to pay for health expenses resulting from an illness or accident.
Dental, vision and prescription drug networks. These plans offer coverage and discounts for dental, vision and prescription drug services. While they are not considered insurance, they can sometimes be less expensive than insurance prescription drug programs and provide cheaper protection for expensive dental procedures.
Don’t let the uncertainty of our health care climate affect your holiday traditions. Check a to-do tradition off your list and sign up for your health insurance today, or contact us for more information.