En español | Most of the millions of Americans who get their health insurance coverage through Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual marketplaces have until Sunday, Dec. 15, to review their plans and make changes for 2020.
While open enrollment will end on that date for most consumers, six states and the District of Columbia have extended their open enrollment deadlines:
- California — Jan. 31
- Colorado — Jan. 15
- District of Columbia — Jan. 31
- Massachusetts — Jan. 23
- Minnesota — Dec. 23
- New York — Jan. 31
- Rhode Island — Dec. 31
Go to healthcare.gov, the federal marketplace website, to start your search for insurance for 2020. There you can select your state and log in to your marketplace account or create a new one. If you are enrolled for 2019 and don't do anything, you will automatically be reenrolled in your current plan, unless that policy is no longer available. In that case, you will be placed in the most similar plan available.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that monthly premiums for the most popular silver plans will drop by 4 percent for next year. But that's a national average, and premium costs vary widely depending upon which plan you select and where you live.
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A federal subsidy calculator on the website will let you know if you qualify for government help for your monthly premiums and/or your deductibles and copays. The vast majority of consumers buying coverage on the marketplace will qualify for some subsidy, so it's worth taking the time to see if you qualify.
For 2020, you are likely eligible for a tax credit for premiums if your annual income falls within these ranges: $12,490 to $49,960 for an individual and $21,330 to $85,320 for a family of three. You can also qualify for a cost-sharing subsidy if your income falls within these ranges: $12,490 to $31,225 for an individual and $21,330 to $53,325 for a family of three.
Although Congress has repealed the income tax penalty for Americans who choose not to have health insurance, several states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont) and the District of Columbia do have penalties for their residents who are not insured. The open enrollment period is the one time during the year that people insured through the marketplaces can sign up or change their coverage, unless their personal circumstances change. These include a loss of their health insurance or a change in their marital status.