The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Arizona open enrollment period for 2020 starts on Nov 1, 2019, and ends on Dec 15, 2019. Like every open enrollment period since Obamacare first launched in 2010, there are changes to the rules and financial aspects of the program. Our phone is ringing off the hook with questions on the 2020 open enrollment for Arizona. In this post, we will answer the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) we are receiving about health insurance and the ACA open enrollment 2020 for Arizona.
The national ACA open enrollment dates for 2020 are November 1, 2019-December 15, 2020. (2020 Obamacare Open Enrollment Dates by State ). Arizona does not have an ACA extension period.
So make plans now to set aside a few hours getting your individual health insurance coverage squared away for 2020. We recommend you get started earlier rather than later. Consider making it your goal to have your health insurance coverage locked in before Thanksgiving so you can brag about your accomplishments at the family dinner.
How Do I Sign Up for Obamacare in Arizona?
There are four ways to sign up for a health insurance plan in Arizona under the ACA (Obamacare) for the coverage year 2020.
Automatically re-enroll via your existing 2019 ACA health plan
Sign-up online at the AZ health care exchange website
Sign-up over the phone with an ACA representative
Meet in person with a certified health insurance broker
Will I Be Penalized for No Health Insurance in 2020?
There is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance. In 2017, Congress repealed the shared responsibility penalty through the Tax Reconciliation Act. As of 2019, individuals that pass on Obamacare health insurance no longer face monetary fines on a federal level.
Will There Be Health Care Subsidies in 2020?
Yes, there are still healthcare subsidies in 2020. Healthcare subsidies are forms of financial assistance offered by the US federal government. Subsidies are in place to help people with lower incomes pay the high cost of individual healthcare plans.
The two subsidies provided through the ACA are the Advanced Premium Tax Credit and Cost-Sharing Reduction.
Advanced Premium Tax Credit Subsidy
The APTC is a tax credit taken in advance of the tax year to lower an individual health premium. The APTC is based on yearly salary and designed as assistance for individuals or families with low income. The lower your income, the larger the tax credit to help cover insurance costs. According to the IRS, "your household income must be at least 100%--but no more than 400% of the federal poverty line for your family size."
After completing Arizona's ACA open enrollment for 2020, you may choose to have advanced APTC payments made to your insurance provider. Or, if you can pay your monthly premium, and do not need further healthcare costs by the end of 2020, you can get the entire APTC benefit with your tax return.
Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidy
The CSR reduces deductibles and copayments and is based on yearly income. Although the CSR is no longer available through federal funding, it is available through Arizona insurers via the ACA silver plan premiums.
If you are in a profession with fluctuating income, a silver health plan with built-in CSR is helpful. You'll pay a higher premium as your income rises but receive credit if your income declines.
What If I Miss the Arizona Open Enrollment for 2020?
If you already have health insurance coverage from 2019 you should be automatically re-enrolled in 2020. Your Arizona health insurance provider should inform you via email or letter if you are automatically re-enrolled. The paperwork should also explain any changes to the coverage and cost of your existing policy.
If you don’t have existing ACA health coverage and miss the Arizona open enrollment, then you will have to wait for next year’s open enrollment or take out a Short Term Medical plan (see below).
If you experience a life change such as getting married, moving, job change or having a baby, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and sign-up for ACA health insurance then.
What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford ACA Health Insurance?
Short Term Medical plans are less expensive than longer coverage plans. Designed to bridge the gap in insurance transitions, you can purchase these plans for as little as $30-$100 per month.
Short Term Medical plans are available for one to twelve months. However, pre-existing conditions are not covered in short term plans. Also, specific medical conditions or diseases are not covered. If you have ongoing medical concerns, Short Term plans may not be for you.
If you are extremely healthy and not in a position to afford long-term care, short term plans are a great way to cover prescription drugs and routine doctor’s visits. These plans can cover you until the next ACA Arizona open enrollment period.
Short term health insurance plans are not available on the ACA marketplace. Please contact us for help finding the best short term health insurance for you or your family.
In Arizona, the ACA open enrollment for 2020 ends on December 15, 2019. Subsidies, penalties, and short term options are just a few factors to weigh when signing up for ACA open enrollment 2020.
We’ve also included the link below for more extensive information to help your research. Remember that the ACA open enrollment period for 2020 begins in less than a month. Signing up for ACA coverage through the options listed above is easy and quick. Select the health plan that works best for you.