You May Qualify for Enrollment in an NC ACA Health Plan for $0 Premium

Low-income earners that do not exceed 150% of FPL in North Carolina can qualify for ACA health insurance for $0

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn
Man giving family a grocery bag

If you’re a low-income American residing in North Carolina and missed out on signing up for the Affordable Care Act coverage for 2022, it’s not too late. You can now enroll in plans with $0 premiums until the rest of the year. If you’re interested in finding out more, our local NC agents can help you discover if you qualify and how to access plans.

Am I eligible?

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To take advantage of this special enrollment period, you need to meet two conditions. First, the special enrollment period is open to anyone with an income of less than 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This means less than $19,320 per year for individuals or under $39,750 per year for a family of four. 

You also have to be eligible for premium tax credits to take advantage of this offer. 

Regardless of your income, you cannot access the special enrollment period if you’re eligible for Medicaid, an employer-sponsored health insurance plan that’s considered affordable or premium-free Medicare Part A. It’s also not available if you’re in the coverage gap for your Medicare prescription drug coverage because you’re not eligible for premium tax credits.

How does it work?

If you meet the criteria, you can select a policy during the special enrollment period, which lasts for the rest of 2022. Most people can choose plans with no premiums, while some may have to pay a minimum amount. This special enrollment period is only available through the Health Insurance Marketplace because premium tax credits aren’t available outside of the exchange.

While you initially had to contact the call center to organize enrollment, you can now access this online by visiting HealthCare.gov or speaking with one of our licensed NC agents. The site allows you to see if you can enroll by selecting “Medicaid, CHIP, or a new Special Enrollment Period based on income.” You’ll need to answer some questions to find out if you’re in the eligible range and if so, you can proceed with enrollment in a plan with a subsidy. 

You can take advantage of this offer anytime during the rest of the year, and your coverage will begin on the first day of the following month. This special enrollment period doesn’t limit how often it can be used or the type of health plan selected. However, it’s recommended that people with income up to 150% of the poverty level consider a Silver plan. These plans offer built-in cost-sharing reductions that can mean the coverage works out better than a Gold or Platinum plan. 

What if I’m not eligible?

If you’re not eligible for the 150% Special Enrollment Period, you may still be able to sign up at any time throughout the year if you’ve experienced specific life changes. For example, losing job-based coverage, aging out of a parent’s policy, or if you’re divorced and therefore no longer able to be included on your spouse’s coverage with their employer. With a qualifying life event, you have 60 days from the date of the event to enroll.

Why has this been extended?

With Covid-19 still affecting many people in North Carolina and throughout America, it’s more important than ever to have adequate health insurance. Additional subsidies introduced since the pandemic has seen 14.5 million Americans enroll in health insurance using federal exchanges during open enrollment periods. For those earning up to 150% of the poverty line, enrollment in 2022 increased by 21% compared to 2021. 

The Government’s American Rescue Plan’s subsidy enhancements are still in effect until at least the end of 2022. Anyone with an income up to 150% of the poverty level can access two of the lowest-cost silver plans paying no premiums. Get in touch with us to find out how you can access North Carolina free health insurance using this special enrollment period.

SEE ALSO: More People Now Eligible For Health Insurance Through ACANew Lower Costs on ACA Marketplace!,  ACA Opens Special Enrollment Period In Response To COVID-19: What You Need To Know

Need help?

You can enroll in a health plan with the help of a health insurance agent at no cost to you. Our local health insurance agents based throughout North Carolina can answer all your questions and help you access low income health insurance during this special enrollment period. Contact us to find out more about North Carolina health insurance today.

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