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How long does it take to get health coverage?

Keep in mind...
  • When you start a new job, the maximum waiting period before your health insurance starts is 90 days
  • The application process for coverage through the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace should take you less than an hour
  • Processing time on your application can vary
  • After you receive your application ID, you can compare plans on the Marketplace website and enroll
  • Insurance plans purchased during the open enrollment period typically start on January 1st of the new year
  • If you purchased a health plan during a special enrollment period, the start date can vary depending on the life event that qualified you for a special enrollment
  • Medicare coverage typically starts the first day of the month you turn 65 if you signed up during your initial enrollment period

How long does it take to get health coverage through my employer?

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The amount of time you have to wait after you start your job but before your health coverage begins can vary based on your employer’s discretion. However, the maximum waiting period is set at 90 days. Under the Affordable Care Act, most large employers are required to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. It is not a requirement to offer health insurance to part-time employees. You should speak to your company’s human resources representative about the type of plans offered and how long the waiting period is.

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You may want to consider getting a Marketplace plan if you are going to be without coverage for a few months. If you are only without coverage for less than three months, you will most likely qualify for the short coverage gap exemption and not be responsible for paying the individual mandate penalty fine. However, it might still be in your best interest to purchase a plan in the meantime in case of an emergency.

How long does it take to get health coverage through the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace?

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The application process on the Healthcare Marketplace website does not take a lot of time. It only takes about fifteen minutes on average to fill out an application. The application is usually processed pretty immediately afterward. However, it is important to remember that applying and enrolling are not the same thing.

After your application is processed, you will have the option of comparing plans on the healthcare exchange Marketplace website and deciding which works best for you based on benefits and affordability.

In some cases, the application process might take a little bit longer if the Marketplace requests additional paperwork. You should send the requested information as soon as you can so you do not delay the process or miss your enrollment period.

What should I do after I have applied through the healthcare exchange?

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After you apply for an insurance plan through the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace, you should receive an application ID and an eligibility notice explaining what options are available to you. If you completed your application online, you can continue through the next steps and compare plans online using your ID. If you mailed in a paper application or applied by talking to a representative over the phone, you will receive your eligibility notice either in the mail, over the phone, or as a message online in your Healthcare Marketplace account.

If you haven’t received an eligibility notice in any of these ways, you should definitely call the Marketplace. You may need to send additional documentation or resolve another issue and it is important to contact the Marketplace as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss your enrollment window.

You can save your application if you do not have the right documents in front of you or need additional time. You can just log in using your account information and application ID to go back and finish filling it out.

When will my coverage start if I enrolled during open enrollment?

After you apply and choose the plan you want to enroll in, your coverage will start shortly. If you enrolled in a health plan between November 1st and December 15th of the open enrollment period, your coverage should start on January 1st of that next year. If you applied after December 15th, your coverage will not start until February 1st. Coverage also will only start after you have paid your first month’s premium amount.

When will my coverage start if I applied during a special enrollment period?

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Your coverage start date can vary depending on the circumstances associated with your special enrollment period. If you had a change in household size, you should qualify for a special enrollment period and have your coverage start pretty soon after enrolling.

If you recently got married, you should qualify for a special enrollment period. You can apply up to 60 days after the event occurs. If you pick a plan by the last day in a particular month, your coverage can start the first day of the next month if you pay your premium before then.

If you recently gave birth, adopted, or fostered a child, you can apply for a special enrollment period and coverage can start the day you brought your child home even if you do not apply for coverage up to 60 days after the event.

There are many other life events that might qualify you for a special enrollment period in addition to changes in household size. You might qualify for a special enrollment period if you lost coverage in the past 60 days or if you expect to lose it in the next 60 days.

You qualify if you are losing job-based coverage, losing eligibility for Medicaid or other government funded programs, and if you are losing coverage through a family member. However, you do not qualify for a special enrollment period if you voluntarily opted out of your job-based coverage or if you lost your coverage due to non-payment.

How do I know if I am enrolled in a healthcare plan?

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After you enroll in one of the plans that are available to you on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace, you will need to pay your first premium before your coverage will start. If you are not sure you are enrolled or if you did not receive confirmation of enrollment or an insurance card, you can check if you are enrolled by logging into your healthcare.gov account and checking your insurance status.

After you log in to your account, you have the ability to see a summary of your coverage. If you do not see your summary of coverage or any of your existing applications under your account, you may not be enrolled in an insurance plan.

You can give your insurance company a call and speak directly to a representative about your payment and enrollment.

You will pay your monthly premiums directly to your insurance company and they should send you your insurance cards shortly after you enroll. You will need to present these insurance cards to your medical provider so they can confirm your coverage. If you are having trouble with any of these steps, contact the Healthcare Marketplace and a representative will walk you through the information you need to know.

How long does it take to get Medicare coverage?

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Medicare coverage works a little differently than the health insurance plans you purchase on the Healthcare Exchange Marketplace. Your Medicaid coverage typically starts near your 65th birthday if you are eligible.

If you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during the first three months of your initial enrollment period, your coverage will start the first day of the month that you turn 65. If you sign up for just Medicare Part A, which is hospital coverage and free for those who are eligible, within 6 months of your 65th birthday, your coverage should start the first day of the month of your 65th birthday or the month before if your birthday is on the 1st day of the month.

If you sign up for Medicare Part B after your 65th birthday or if you have to pay for Medicare Part A, your coverage start day will vary. If you sign up the month that you turn 65, your insurance will start one month after. If you sign up the month after your 65th birthday, your coverage will start two months after. If you sign up during the general enrollment period which occurs between January 1st and March 31st, your coverage will start on July 1st.

How long does it take to get health coverage?

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The amount of time it takes for your health coverage to start can depend on a variety of factors. If you are starting a new full-time job, your employer can not make you wait longer than 90 days before your coverage starts. If you are applying during the open enrollment period through the Healthcare Marketplace, your coverage will usually start January 1st as long as you applied by December 15th. Medicare coverage will typically start shortly after your 65th birthday for those who are eligible.

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