What You Need to Know Before Signing Up for Federal Health Insurance

Posted by Nailah Herbert in InsuranceNovember 15, 2021(Last Updated November 20, 2022)3 min read
Key Takeaways
  • The open enrollment is underway for the 2022 period, so if you wish to switch your health insurance plan, now is the time to do so.
  • If you wish to receive your new insurance plan for the beginning of the new year, then you must submit your application by December 15, 2021.
  • Signing up for health insurance premiums allows you to pay less for everyday health services, such as going to the doctor, paying for your dental plan, and receiving treatment for any injuries.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

With the federal health insurance open enrollment period for 2022 underway, right now is the essential time to switch over to a different health insurance plan. The open enrollment began on November 1, 2021, and is ongoing until January 15, 2022. Open enrollment is the time at a certain part of the year where people who have health insurance can choose to change, renew or stop their plans.


However, if you wish your new plan to take effect at the beginning of 2022, then sign up for a new program before December 15. The plans offered under the Affordable Care Act will be beneficial to those who sign up within the allotted period as there will be lower premiums paid.


What Does the Affordable Care Act Plans Cover?


According to the Heatlhcare.gov website, the plans which are offered under the Affordable Care Act that are sold in the Healthcare Marketplace must cover the following health care benefits: 


  • Ambulatory services 
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Laboratory services 
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Devices
  • Preventive and wellness services


Furthermore, the health benefits listed above are ones that all plans must cover, but some additional ones must also be covered, such as birth control, breastfeeding, dental, and vision care. Although all insurance plans must cover these essential health care products or services, the range of how much they cover will be listed in the details of each plan. 


Who Can Qualify for an Insurance Plan?


Certain requirements need to be met to qualify for the Affordable Care Act and be eligible for purchasing different premiums on the Healthcare Marketplace website. Various aspects listed below will determine who can and cannot qualify. First, however, it’s a must to thoroughly research which plans fit your lifestyle.


Income Limit


The first qualification that needs to be met to qualify for the Affordable Care Act is that your income is within the range depending on the number of people in your household. Your income level must be within 100% and 400% of the poverty level in your respective state to qualify for the Affordable Care Act. Below is the table and the respective income levels for the number of people in your household:



If your household has more than eight people living in it, then add $4,540 for each additional person. 


Must be U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident and Living in the U.S.


Secondly, to qualify for the Affordable Care Act, you need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident living in the U.S., Hawaii, or Alaska. If you do not meet this condition, you do not qualify for these insurance plans regardless of the amount of income you make. 


Not Currently Incarcerated


Lastly, you must not be incarcerated when applying for and receiving these insurance premiums. If you have been incarcerated before, you can still sign up for an insurance premium under the Affordable Care Act. However, if you were to get arrested and convicted, your insurance coverage will also stop if you are incarcerated for more than 30 days.


Illegible for Medicaid, Medicare Plans, and Can’t Afford Employer Plans


This federal health insurance program ensures that the people who are signing up cannot receive health care coverage from Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage. If the healthcare premiums provided by your employer are too expensive to pay for, then consider signing up for a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act.


Suppose you cannot sign up for these other programs, and you meet the other eligibilities listed above. In that case, you may be eligible to sign up for an Affordable Care Act health insurance program.


How to Sign Up


If you meet all of the requirements listed above, then visit the Healthcare.gov website, where you can sign up or log in to renew or change your health insurance plan. 


Image Credit: txking / Shutterstock.com


Importance of Having Insurance


It is essential to have health insurance because you never know what will happen in the future. Staying active and healthy is a great way to avoid doctor bills, but some circumstances are not in your control. By signing up for insurance premiums from both the federal government and life insurance companies, you are protecting both yourself and your family members from potential unexpected issues in the future.

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