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Everything you need to know about open enrollment

Updated: Sep 23

Open Enrollment: Everything You MUST know


‘Tis the season. The weather is getting colder. Thanksgiving has almost come and gone and Christmas decorations are in stores. The end of the year is fast approaching and your mind is probably on holiday shopping. Remember, there is another, more important, thing to check off your list this year. Making sure that you have health insurance coverage for you and your family for 2019 is crucial. You may have heard that open enrollment dates are November 1st through December 15th. There is just enough time to apply during open enrollment and get back to the holiday festivities.


Open Enrollment Period


Depending on the state you live in, you may have more or less time to enroll for an affordable health plan. For example, in California, the open enrollment period goes from October 15th to January 15th. If you are currently enrolled in a health plan that is not meeting your needs, now is the time to switch your health care provider or plan. Conveniently, you can use Insuravita to compare quotes and learn which plan is best for you for the coming new year. Some health insurance plans are too expensive or have deductibles that are too high. Hence, they may not be the best option for your family.


Qualifying Events


Open enrollment is arguably the most important time of the year. For the rest of the year, you are not able to change your coverage unless you have a specific life event. Such events may place you in a special exempt category. The most common life event is through employment. Basically, if you are hired by a company at any point, you can enroll in a health care plan outside of these dates. There are other life events like getting married, having a baby, moving, or losing your health insurance. You might also qualify due to a death in the family, becoming a U.S. citizen, losing your job, or adopting a child. It is important to know that, after one of these life events, you have up to 60 days to enroll in a health insurance plan.

In addition, there are other qualifying events for a life-changing special enrollment such as your spouse’s open enrollment. Your spouse might choose to decline coverage from their employer. They are able to be placed on your health coverage or can be added to your employer’s health plan as a dependent. It is important to know what dates are considered for open enrollment in your state. Also, make sure you understand what life events may qualify you for special enrollment dates. If you do not have a special enrollment qualification, make sure to abide by the rules of open enrollment.


The Takeaway


There is an open enrollment checklist on the marketplace.cms.gov website to make sure that you are prepared to enroll in a healthcare plan. For instance, some items include information about your household size and home and mailing addresses for everyone looking to enroll. You will also need social security numbers and birth dates, and the best estimate of your yearly income. In conclusion, start your health insurance coverage today and make sure that you check this important task off your list in time.


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