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What To Know About Open Enrollment- What it Means and Why it’s Important

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Timing may come as a surprise on when you need to purchase health insurance and can affect costs. The open enrollment period is a time period in which you can sign up for most types of health insurance.

As long as you’re eligible and apply within the enrollment period, the health plan you apply for must provide you with insurance. However, if you miss the open enrollment period, you usually can’t sign up for health insurance until the enrollment period the following year. If you receive insurance through your employer, you can also change job-based benefits, like a health savings account or flexible spending account, during the open enrollment period. You can sign up for or make adjustments to your other types of insurance as well, including Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Life insurance, Disability insurance, Legal insurance, Supplemental insurance benefits. The main types of health insurance that use the open enrollment period are:

  • Medicare
  • Insurance through your employer
  • Individual insurance through the healthcare marketplace

Types of Health Insurance That Don’t Use Open Enrollment

Although most forms of health insurance use the open enrollment period, there are some that are available year-round or have different limitations. If you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply at any time. If your children are eligible for CHIP, you can sign up for the insurance throughout the entire year. Travel insurance covers medical expenses while out of the country. Because it’s a short-term form of insurance, you usually don’t have to purchase it during the open enrollment period.

Travel Insurance Enrollment

Some people might not have insurance, but they would look at travel insurance companies. These companies can cover people when they travel. Someone who is trying to learn about these companies might want to take their insurance for the road, and that might be all the coverage that is needed. Someone who is trying to save money or get coverage when it is most needed can use a travel insurance company. This is also helpful if they are the kind of person who spends half the year in one country and half the year in another. However, some companies will only let you purchase a travel insurance policy within a certain amount of time after booking your trip. This insurance isn’t regulated by the ACA, so it doesn’t use enrollment periods. States that allow short-term health insurance let you sign up year-round. Supplemental insurance products can also be sold to individuals year-round. However, if you purchase supplemental insurance products through your employer, it will probably be limited to your employer’s open enrollment period.

Special Enrollment Periods

Special enrollment is an exception to the open enrollment period. In some situations, you’ll be able to sign up for health insurance outside of the standard enrollment period. If you lost your health insurance because of an extenuating circumstance or life event, you should be able to sign up for new insurance with the special enrollment rule. Common life events that allow for special enrollment include:

  • Job loss
  • Lost health insurance plan at work
  • Moving to an area that your current insurance doesn’t cover
  • Divorce or New marriage
  • Death of your spouse
  • Aging off of your parent’s plan
  • Having or adopting a baby
  • Carrier mistake on your insurance contract

Usually, you’ll have 60 days to change your coverage or sign up for a new plan if one of these situations occurs in your life.  You won’t be eligible for special enrollment if you lose your insurance because of missed monthly payments. If you choose to cancel your coverage, you also won’t qualify for special enrollment. In these situations, you’ll have to wait for the next open enrollment period to sign up for insurance.

2019 Open Enrollment

The open enrollment period varies depending on the type of insurance. The enrollment period for Medicare is always from October 15 to December 7. If you have health insurance through your job, your employer will set the enrollment period. This can be at any time during the year, but most employers set the enrollment period in the fall. With a fall enrollment period, the new insurance coverage can take effect on the first day of the new year. The enrollment period for the healthcare marketplace varies each year.

The Next Open Enrollment

If you purchase your health insurance individually through the marketplace, you’ll have to check Healthcare.gov each year to find the dates of the enrollment period. In 2019, the enrollment period will be from November 1, 2018, to December 15, 2018. Plans will take effect on January 1, 2019. This will be the first year that open enrollment for the marketplace ends before the new year. Open enrollment for insurance is very important because that is where most people will find that they can change the way that they receive coverage. There are many people who will want to know travel insurance companies to think about, and they want to ask, “what changes will there be this year’s open enrollment?” The people who are trying to learn about insurance after open enrollment can find information online, or they could invest in the plans that are outside the marketplace.

Open Enrollment For Insurance

Open enrollment for insurance is important because it is the time of the year that people will sign up for some type of insurance plan. These plans are all available online, and they are very cheap to maintain. The people who are trying to get an insurance plan can look through all these plans while open enrollment. The market is a very large place where people can get the insurance that they need. There are many people who would prefer to use these plans, but they might miss open enrollment. They have to be sure that they have looked at the special enrollment period. The special enrollment period is very easy for people to use, but they will get plans outside of the marketplace.

What Changes Will There Be This Years Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment for insurance offers changes to which programs are offered that year. These companies can come in and out, and that is why people have to check every year to see what might be offered. These people will notice that they can sign up right there, or they might miss the enrollment period. That means that the people who are not in open enrollment need to try special enrollment.

What Is Special Enrollment?

People want to see which new plans will be out there. However, these very same people also might not have signed up during open enrollment because they could not come to a conclusion. Because of that, they need to make sure that they have another option that includes special enrollment. The special enrollment period has a long list of insurance plans that remain in the program, but they are technically outside of the marketplace.

Why Are Special Enrollment Plans Outside The Marketplace?Image result for special enrollment illustration

The special enrollment plans are outside of the marketplace because these plans are not part of the regular enrollment period. The special enrollment period for these insurance plans allows people to have the plans that might allow them to save money and get coverage for their family that they did not find in open enrollment. These plans might be much cheaper, and they might also include government programs that are made to be low-cost. The low-cost plans are unique to the government facilities in their communities, and these programs help make it so much cheaper for everyone.

The Low-Cost Government Plans

The low-cost government plans are useful to people who do not have the income to pay for a traditional insurance plan. There are many programs that include Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. Each of the CHIP programs is different because they are administered by the state, and the state program allows parents to pay a small amount of money for their insurance every month. They can get that out of the special enrollment program, and find that they can even get the free plans that are offered through the state. Medicaid and Medicare fall into these categories, and that is why people need to check the special enrollment program.

The Plans Offer Broad Ranges Of Coverage

The plans offer broad ranges of coverage, and they have networks that cover the whole state. This means that people who are trying to make sure that they get coverage, have to start looking at the open enrollment plans, get the Medicare information that is required, and find the Medicaid information that is required. The people who are trying to find coverage that suits their specific needs should look over the government programs, special enrollment programs, and open enrollment programs.