Maximize your HSA e-Newsletter
Vol. 14, Issue 11
Are You Ready for 2019 Open Enrollment Period? Here’s What You Need to Know!
As many are aware, November 1 marks the start of the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and ends on December 15 for most states. This is the only time when you can buy or switch health insurance plans every year unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you’ve wondered how to change carriers or what options are available this year, you’ll find that information below.
What is OEP?
The Open Enrollment Period, otherwise called “annual enrollment”, is when workers of various establishments and organizations can request changes to certain fringe benefits, namely their health insurance. OEP may also apply to an annual period allotted to individuals interested in buying their first individual health insurance plan.
If you already have a health insurance plan in place, here’s what you can do during open enrollment:
- You can renew your current individual/family health insurance plan.
- You can choose a new health insurance plan through the marketplace in your state or through private insurance.
If you are currently enrolled in a marketplace health insurance plan, it will automatically renew. However, the plan may make changes to its provider network, copays, co-insurance and drug coverage. Your plan must send you a notice of any changes it will make for 2019.
Take time to read the notice to see what it means for you. Make certain your doctors and preferred hospital are still in your network. Be aware, you may be able to use out-of-network doctors and hospitals, if you’re willing to pay more. In some cases, you might not be covered at all if you go out of network.
Deadlines You Need To Know
Like I said above, the OEP in most states is from November 1 until December 15. However, below are the list of states not following the Dec 15th deadline.
- California – Oct. 15, 2018 to Jan. 15, 2019
- Colorado – Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 15, 2019
- D.C. – Nov. 1 ,2018 to Jan. 31, 2019
- Massachusetts – Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 23, 2019
- Minnesota – Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 13, 2019
- New York – Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019
- Rhode Island – Nov. 1, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019
If you buy after the Dec. 15 date in the states that are extending the enrollment period, you’ll need to check to see when the coverage will start as most still require you to obtain your plan by Dec. 15 for it to start on Jan. 1, 2019. If you buy after Dec. 15 your plan’s start date may be Feb. 1 or March 1, 2019.
If you miss open enrollment for the health insurance exchange, you won’t be able to sign up for coverage unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Options new or existing enrollees now have
Many believe shopping the ACA Exchange is their only option during this open enrollment period. For those with higher-than-normal health insurance premiums, or those who won’t qualify for subsidies, here are some plans you may consider:
One of today’s more flexible healthshare plans, MPowering takes the powerful health savings account (HSA) and combines it with a healthshare. You’ll get an HSA-eligible partially self-directed healthshare plan which allows enrollees full control over their health care choices and allows individuals the freedom to choose their provider – all while ‘sharing’ coverage related to medical expenses throughout the network.
Thousands of people have already enrolled in this new HSA-qualified healthshare plan. Remember, like all healthshare plans, new enrollees can enjoy Mpowering benefits and avoid any ACA-mandated penalties.
Another membership-based health sharing plan we offer, AlieraCare, keeps your monthly contributions low as your expenses stay low. When services are needed, simply call a Telemedicine professional through AlieraCare Member Services who will help set your appointment with a PPO network provider.
Restrictions do apply, but these restrictions are far less than some insurers place on individual health insurance plans.
Need help during Open Enrollment Period?
Considering a healthshare plan due to high premiums on your current plan? Looking for something comprehensive yet affordable without ACA red-tape?
Open Enrollment is time-sensitive. Aside from traditional health insurance, HSA for America offers numerous healthshare plans for those not comfortable shopping the government’s exchange. Remember, for traditional insurance you have until December 15 to change or enroll in new plans. If you plan to go with a healthshare plan, enrollment is all-year-round.
Discuss your options with your Personal Benefits Manager today, and see the array of affordable yet flexible options you’ve been missing out on.
Wiley P. Long, III
President – HSA for America
The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.
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