The Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment period just began. With it, follows many other Carrier and Companies’ Open Enrollment periods.
So let’s review: What is Open Enrollment? Why is it important?
Understand what Open Enrollment is and how it affects you. Know when your company’s Open Enrollment period is so you can make changes at the correct time and get the coverage you need.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is a set period when an individual can add, drop, or make changes to his or her medical, dental, vision and/or any other coverage. That means during this period, a person is free to enroll, terminate or switch plan coverage.
Do you receive your insurance through your employer? The company must hold an annual Open Enrollment period every year. The time may coincide with the Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment but is not required to. Ask your plan administrator when your company’s Open Enrollment period is.
The Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment period began on November 1, 2023, and ends on January 15, 2024. Most states with their own insurance exchange follow similar dates. During this period, any person is free to shop for health insurance plans to receive coverage. The coverage will begin on January 1st.
The end date for open enrollment falls on a federal holiday in 2024, Open enrollment will be extended until January 16 at midnight.
What happens during open enrollment?
During the Open Enrollment period, employees can make any changes in coverage. That may mean adding a family member, terminating with one plan and enrolling in another. That may mean choosing a different plan.
During Open Enrollment, both employees and companies can make changes to the benefit plans. Also during Open Enrollment, the carrier sends the new premium rate for the plan.
It is important employers and employees review all plan options and make the right decision when it comes to cost, coverage, deductibles, out-of-pocket- limits, and available provider networks. You want to find the right plan that fits you and your family’s needs.
What is the Special Enrollment Period?
The time outside open enrollment period is called the special enrollment period. If you have a Special Enrollment Period, coverage will begin the first day of the month after you sign up. You may qualify for a special enrollment period due to a life event, losing current coverage, getting married, having a baby, or based on estimated household income.
Based on your special enrollment period type, you could have 60 days before or 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan. You’re allowed to enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program following these guidelines. If you enroll in a job-based plan you must provide a special enrollment period of at least 30 days.
Why is open enrollment important?
It is important to be prepared for open enrollment before the open enrollment period begins. There are certain things that you need to consider. Here is a list of things you may want to look at during Open Enrollment:
- Plan– Understand your benefit options and when the period starts and ends.
- Know what has changed– costs, deductibles and copays, your network of doctors, prescription drug coverage.
- Compare plans– find one that can better suit your needs.
Open enrollment comes around every year. If none of the plans above fit into your needs, you’ll need to wait until the next enrollment period.