Open Enrollment is Here Again!
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a new group of healthcare industry terms became commonplace for all of us in the industry – and for consumers too. Terms such as exchanges, subsidies and, of course, open enrollment.
Open enrollment is the designated time period in which individuals can sign up for healthcare coverage for the upcoming calendar year. Open enrollment happens only once a year. It is your chance to apply for a new plan, change plans, or add a plan to your current coverage. And for Covered California plans in 2016, open enrollment is quickly approaching.
Here are the dates you need to know, so mark your calendars accordingly:
October 15 – December 7, 2015 – Open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and supplemental prescription drug coverage plans.
November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016 – Open enrollment period for healthcare coverage in 2016.
KeenanDirect is a one-stop shop for consumers looking to renew their coverage, or get coverage for the first time for their family or small business. There are many new options available this year, including plans that provide innovative solutions such as telehealth services and digital platforms for health care. KeenanDirect provides expert guidance to help consumers through the sometimes confusing process of comparing plans and finding the best fit for your life and budget. We can even help you determine if you qualify for a federal subsidy. Best of all, this service is provided at no additional cost to consumers.
If you experience a “qualifying life event” outside of the open enrollment period, you may be eligible for special enrollment to get the coverage you need. A qualifying life event could include: getting married, having a baby, having a substantial change in income, losing your current health insurance, or moving to a new state. There are many other circumstances that may be considered a “qualifying life event” that would enable you to get health insurance at any time of the year. Again, the experts at KeenanDirect can help guide you through this process.
If you don’t have health insurance in 2016, you could face a tax penalty, so it is important to take advantage of the upcoming open enrollment period to find a plan that works for you.
Mark your calendars for Open Enrollment and make health insurance one of your New Year’s resolutions in 2016. Enroll early to make sure you are covered on January 1, and enjoy the benefits of health care coverage all year long.
About Sam Cole
Sam Cole is Vice President, Individual and Family Plans at Keenan. Sam has been recognized by the National Association of Health Underwriters for the past 19 years as part of the Leading Producers Round Table.