The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all Americans have health insurance by March 31st of this year. If you do not have coverage through your employer, the marketplace, or a government program such as Medicaid, you will need to purchase coverage through the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces or risk being fined.
But what if you can’t afford to buy coverage on your own? What if you’re waiting to enroll in part B of the ACA until after March 31st? There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re waiting to enroll in part B of the ACA.
What is Cobra?
Cobra is a condition that can occur when the valve of the heart becomes blocked. This can prevent blood from flowing through the heart properly, and can lead to death if not treated quickly. If you are concerned that you may have Cobra, or if you have been told you have it, the best way to successfully wait to enroll in Part B is to follow these guidelines:
1. Stay calm and be as supportive as possible to your loved ones- remember that they are probably just as anxious about your health as you are.
2. Avoid stressful activities- staying inactive will only make your symptoms worse.
3. Make sure to keep your doctor updated on your condition- they will be able to give you more specific advice about when it is safe for you to start taking Part B classes.
How do I know if I am eligible for Cobra?
If you have answered “Yes” to any of the questions below, you may be eligible for Cobra.
-Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?
-Is residing in the United States required for enrollment?
-Do you have a qualifying event that occurred on or after September 25, 2008?
-Did you enroll in Part A before your qualifying event?
If you answered “No” to any of the questions below, you are not eligible for Cobra.
-Are you pregnant?
– Are you more than 60 months old as of the day before your qualifying event?
-Do you have a qualifying illness or injury?
What are the steps I need to take to enroll in part B?
There are a few things you need to do in order to enroll in part B. The first step is to call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). This number is available from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST, seven days a week. After you have called CMS, you will be asked some questions about your health and your coverage. If you are already covered under a group plan, you will not need to do anything else. If you are not currently covered under a group plan, or if your coverage is not valid until after September 30th, 2018, you will need to provide proof of coverage. You can submit this documentation by mail or electronically. The next step is to find an enrollment site. CMS has a list of enrollment sites online. You can also find information about enrollment sites in your state on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website (https://www.medicare.gov/news/press-releases/2018/07/cobra-enrollment). After you have found an enrollment site, you will need to complete an application form and provide the documentation that was requested
What are the benefits of delaying enrollment in part B?
Delaying enrollment in part B may have many benefits. Here are a few of the most common:
-You can get a better deal on your health insurance.
-You may qualify for a premium discount.
-You can avoid paying late fees and penalties.
-You may receive a refund if you drop your coverage before the end of the year.
If you have received a notification that your Cobra score has changed, there are a few things you should do in order to maximize your chances of being accepted into Part B. The first thing you should do is wait until the re-test window opens (which varies depending on your circumstances). After that, make sure to submit all of the required paperwork and take the test as soon as possible. Finally, be prepared to answer any questions that may come up during enrollment and review the different payment options available. If you follow these steps, I believe you will have a successful experience enrolling in Part B and receiving your insurance coverage. Good luck!