2015 Open Enrollment Period
The Health Insurance Shopping Season Has Begun!
November 1, 2015, the Open Enrollment Period for individual and family health insurance begins and continues through January 31, 2016. Below are scenarios of who should/might want to look at coverage changes.
- If someone had an individual or family plan in 2015 I have the option to change to another plan and/or carrier during this time with NO medical questions.
- If an individual or family is enrolled through the Marketplace, therefore are receiving premium assistance (tax subsidy) in 2015, they should update income and determine if another plan or carrier would be more beneficial or cost effective.
- If a person is currently on COBRA from a past job, review if COBRA is still the best fit for 2016. COBRA changes can only be made to individual coverage during the Open Enrollment Period or when COBRA is exhausted.
- If a person hasn’t had coverage or had short term major medical coverage in 2015, it is time to determine what comprehensive coverage to enroll in.
Beginning January 1, 2016 there will be two additional carriers available making a total of four for individual and family plans purchased directly through a carrier (NOT through the Marketplace) and three carriers for Marketplace plans. Coventry will still be available in the Marketplace in addition; UnitedHealthOne and Medica will be joining Coventry. It is important to review plans, premiums, and income for 2016 when receiving a tax subsidy. The reason is the plan premium will be more and if an individual does not update family income, even if it the income DOESN’T change, it will mean more premium out of pocket. If updates are entered and the income is still the same, more of the increase could fall on the federal government not the individual.
If purchasing health insurance directly from a carrier, whether utilizing an agent, buying on line or on the phone, there will be four options. Coventry, UnitedHealthOne, Medica and Wellmark, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa. It has been announced that Wellmark will be joining the Marketplace in January 2017.
The Open Enrollment Period has a staggered start date depending on enrollment submission date.
- Enroll between November 1 and December 15, 2015 coverage begins January 1, 2016.
- Enroll between December 16, 2015 and January 15, 2016 coverage begins February 1, 2016.
- Enroll between January 16 and January 31, 2016 coverage begins March 1, 2016.
Feel free to contact my office to discuss available options for coverage. I look forward to meeting you and assisting you to ‘make informed choices’ about your healthcare.