|October 2023||Maximixe your HSA e-Newsletter||Vol. 19, Issue 11|
Open Enrollment Starts November 1st. Here’s What You Need to Know
Open Enrollment is a critical time for securing your health coverage for the coming year.
Whether you’re new to health insurance, or you’re looking to change your existing plan, understanding the intricacies of the Open Enrollment period can help you make the best decisions for your healthcare needs.
What Is Open Enrollment and Why Is It Important?
Open Enrollment is the specific window of time each year when individuals can enroll, re-enroll, or make changes to their health insurance plans.
It runs from November 1st to January 15th in most states.
However, if you want your insurance to become effective as of the 1st of January, you must complete your enrollment by December 15th.
During Open Enrollment, you can opt for a new health insurance plan or make modifications to your current one – no matter what your medical history or condition.
If you miss the open enrollment period, you could be stuck with a less-than-ideal health plan for the rest of the year (or until you have a qualifying life event).
Additionally, if you need a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this is the time to enroll in a plan that qualifies.
In order to access these subsidies, you must complete your enrollment during Open Enrollment, or during Special Enrollment Period which you can get after experiencing a qualifying life event.
To have a new plan or changes effective by January 1st, you need to complete your enrollment by December 15th in most states.
If you enroll or make changes after this date, your new plan will take effect on February 1st.
Impact of Income Changes on Tax Credits
If you currently receive tax credits through the federal marketplace, it’s essential to know that any significant changes in your income could affect these credits.
Should this be relevant to your situation, your Personal Benefits Manager can help you understand how your premium may be impacted.
Advantages of a Health Savings Account (HSA)
The money you contribute is not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit. Plus, the funds can grow tax-deferred, and if you use them for qualified medical expenses, they can be withdrawn tax-free.
Many of our clients save thousands of dollars per year in premiums, income taxes and Social Security taxes by switching to an HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and contributing to a health savings account.
Your Personal Benefits Manager can assist you in selecting a plan that qualifies for HSA contributions.
The Flexibility of Health Sharing Plans
If traditional health insurance doesn’t meet your needs or budget, a health sharing plan may be a viable alternative.
Health sharing is not insurance, but it allows members to share healthcare costs among a community of individuals with similar beliefs or lifestyles.
For most people who receive a large subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, sticking with your traditional health insurance plan probably makes the most sense.
However, if you’ve experienced a major increase in your income this year, or your household size has dropped, then you might consider health sharing.
Health sharing plans usually offer more freedom when choosing healthcare providers, which means you’re not confined to a network. You are much more free to choose your own doctors and other providers.
Plus, they can be significantly more affordable than traditional health insurance, saving as much as 50% compared to the monthly cost of unsubsidized health insurance premiums.
Many HSA for America are switching to health sharing plans to generate immediate savings of hundreds of dollars per month.
Note: Health sharing plans typically impose waiting periods on new members before they will share costs for non-emergency surgery. They’ll also impose waiting periods before they will share the cost of treating certain pre-existing conditions.
It’s one of the big reasons monthly costs for health sharing are so much lower than traditional health insurance.
Be sure to carefully compare the different health sharing plans available, as well as their pre-existing conditions policies, before selecting a plan.
If you have significant pre-existing conditions requiring ongoing care, you may be better off remaining in a traditional health insurance plan. By law, traditional ACA-qualified health insurance plans can’t impose waiting periods or otherwise discriminate against pre-existing conditions.
The Bottom Line
For most readers, you probably don’t need to do anything. If you were enrolled in a great health plan last year, it’s probably still a great plan, and not very much has changed.
So unless there have been some big changes in your life that would affect your health insurance, relax! Just keep paying your premiums on time. Your plan will auto-renew on January 1st, and life will be good!
However, if you have received a notice from your insurance carrier of a major change in their coverage or pricing, or if you have had a change in your medical condition, budget, subsidies, or family status that may be material, things are different.
If this is the case, click here or contact your Personal Benefits Manager to make your appointment for a free consultation. In fact, I encourage you to make that appointment well before the end-of-open enrollment rush at the end of the year.
Our calendars get pretty booked then. So the sooner you can make your appointment, the more flexibility you’ll have.
As always, from all of us at HSA for America, we appreciate your business, and we’re proud to have you as a client.
Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.
To your health and wealth,
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.
Disclaimer: All information on this website is relayed to the best of the Company’s ability, but does not guarantee accuracy. Information may be out of date. The content provided on this site is intended for informational purposes only and does not guarantee price or coverage. This site is not intended as, and does not constitute, accounting, legal, tax, and/or other professional advice. Determination of actual price is subject to Carriers.