Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment for 2024
Carrie Dorn, MPA, LMSW
Senior Practice Associate, Health
Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace begins November 1, 2023, and goes through January 15, 2024. To secure coverage for January 1, 2024, individuals must enroll by December 15, 2023.
This is a crucial year for social workers to help individuals and families connect to health insurance coverage. In 2023, the Medicaid continuous coverage provision that was in place since 2020 ended and all states are conducting redeterminations. Income and Medicaid eligibility may have changed for individuals and families since 2020, resulting in disenrollment from Medicaid. If families become aware that they will lose coverage, or they have lost Medicaid or CHIP coverage already, they have an opportunity to apply on the health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov). They can apply 60 days before Medicaid or CHIP coverage ends to avoid a gap in coverage. Families can also apply for a Marketplace plan any time after Medicaid or CHIP coverage ends through July 31, 2024. Once an application is submitted, individuals have 60 days to enroll in a plan. Social workers can guide families through the redetermination process and help consumers understand alternative options for health insurance coverage.
Social workers know that health insurance is important for adults and children to access preventive care and address acute and chronic physical and behavioral health conditions. Having insurance coverage also helps consumers access social workers in health care and community settings. The health insurance marketplace is a trusted source for insurance options that are affordable, comprehensive, and provide the Essential Health Benefits.
Social workers can help individuals and families connect with local assistance to apply for insurance coverage. The Biden-Harris Administration has partnered with 57 Navigator organizations across the country to support outreach and enrollment efforts. Many of the organizations focus on underserved populations including low-income communities, specific racial and ethnic groups, rural communities, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, English Language Learners, pregnant individuals and new parents, people living with HIV/AIDS, individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders, migrant farm workers, etc. These tailored outreach efforts aim to extend health insurance coverage to historically underinsured communities and promote health equity.
Social workers can use the following resources to support clients to secure health insurance coverage: