Talk to an Expert

Health Insurance

What You Need to Know About Open Enrollment

Created Date
September 1, 2020

Everything You Need to Consider During Open Enrollment

Finding the right health insurance plan is undoubtedly challenging, especially during the restricted open enrollment period. Once a year, you often come across specific terms, such as co-pay, out-of-pocket, and deductibles. Following this are employee benefit guides being circulated with reminder emails with health insurance plan charts from your HR. This signifies the beginning of an open enrollment season, and the reminders are just an indication that the deadline is fast approaching.

Since only 39 percent of employees are confident about selecting the right plan that suits their needs, below are some insights to know about open enrollment.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment describes the period in a year where employees can change or update the existing health coverage plans or opt for a new plan. As the name suggests, it allows those who haven’t signed up to sign up for health insurance, while others can change/update their initial benefits or add a child to the plan. New employees eligible for coverage can also take advantage of the open enrollment period to take their initial coverage. Some health insurance benefits that employees can change include dental, vision, health insurance, and pet care.

When Does Open Enrollment Start?

The start for open enrollments often depends on where you source your insurance coverage. For instance, Medicare recipients have their open enrollment open between 15th October and 7th December. Citizens who use individual insurance plans or source coverage from the Affordable Care Act have their open enrollment between 1st November and 15th December. Some states also have varying open enrollment periods.

How Does Open Enrollment Work?

For those who depend on employer benefits, open enrollment depends on the submitted forms to healthcare benefits providers. As such, employers should start their open and finish their open enrollment program some weeks before the official deadline. The enrollment period for the year 2020 will begin from November, though it may vary according to the state.

What to Know Before Signing Up

Signing up for open enrollment and changing your plans can be confusing. As such, consider the following before signing up or changing your open enrollment plans:

Consider Your Needs

The first thing you should ask yourself before changing your health insurance plans is if your needs have changed over the last year or will possibly change in the coming year. For instance, those in their early 20’s might benefit from their parents’ health insurance. However, for those turning 26, they will need full coverage as they are aging out. For those signing up, dental insurance may not make sense for single individuals and a better choice for those who can include children on the plan.

Changes in Plans

Once you receive open enrollment documentation, you should be on the lookout for changes in the available plans. You might notice changes in the premiums payable, coinsurance, co-payment figures, or varying deductible amounts. Employees will have different health insurance plans to choose from depending on their employers.

For instance, some employers offer high deductible health insurance plans, while others opt for traditional plans. Regardless, consider the overall out-of-pocket costs for individual plans, and the likelihood that you can service the payments. Note that this changes every year.

Healthy and unmarried people, for instance, can save a lot by choosing the high-deductible health insurance option, since they rarely visit the doctor. However, those planning to start families within the coming year should consider the traditional health insurance plan.

Note the Changes in Providers

Apart from the plans, you should closely check if there are any changes in the providers of health care benefits. With the insurance industry’s dynamic nature, employers can change the insurance provider, majorly, due to the costs of coverage. If your employer has changed the insurance provider, your dentist or physician might not accept payments from the new insurance plan.

As such, you should check with the insurance company before accessing any health services to ensure that you are covered to avoid unnecessary costs and denied claims. Insurance providers also come with different regulations. For some, you will need pre-approval before visiting the hospital, while others require that you file claims after the procedure. Such are the key things to consider during the open enrollment period.

Which Insurance Do You Need?

You should also understand the type of insurance that you need before signing up or making changes to the plan during open enrollment. For instance, if you don’t have a family history of diabetes, you can skip the diabetes coverage. Those who don’t have eye problems can also avoid vision insurance. Fortunately, you can add these plans in the next enrollment period if they arise.

Bottom Line

Open enrollment is a perfect time for insurance beneficiaries to adjust their employee benefits. Since most employers change the plans that they offer during this period, you should carefully read the documents to ensure that you benefit from all the essential plans. If you are not on an employer benefit program, this is the perfect opportunity to do your research and choose a plan that fits your needs. Connect with the best carriers using 

Other Related Articles

Insurance Starts Here!

Fill out the form below or call us

Want to speak to someone now?


Get quick and easy insurance quotes

Read more articles related to the Insurance Type:

Other Related Articles