Whether you’ve just turned 26 and are moving off a parent’s healthcare plan or you’ve recently left a job and need to find your own insurance, navigating health insurance can seem tricky and overwhelming. However there are a number of resources out there that can help you know how to compare plans, what questions to ask, and how to choose the right plan for you and your family. One great guide was put together by NerdWallet and provides a “start-to-finish guide to choosing the best plan for you and your family, whether it’s through the federal marketplace or an employer.” NerdWallet’s healthcare guide can be found by clicking here.
If you haven’t had health insurance for some or part of this tax year, you may also want to familiarize yourself with the allowable exemptions that, if you are eligible, might help you avoid paying a fine for not having health coverage. For example, there is a hardship exemption that may apply if you were homeless, experienced the death of a family member, filed for bankruptcy, or experienced various other eligible hardship situations. Native American tribal members, due to Indian Health Service coverage, are also able to claim an exemption. More information on allowable exemptions can be found here.
Also, keep in mind that the open enrollment period for the Marketplace for 2017 runs from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.