A Guide to Open Enrollment
It’s Open Enrollment season in the health insurance world. Which one applies to you? It can be confusing, so here are the definitions.
Medicare – Offers an Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) that begins October 15th and continues until December 7th. During that time, Medicare beneficiaries can select a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan for the next calendar year. It’s always wise to evaluate your options. Don’t assume that the plan you have in 2017 will be the best choice for 2018. The AEP does not apply to Medicare Supplement policies; these will automatically continue until the policyholder cancels the coverage.
Individuals & Families – Open Enrollment for 2018 is November 1st through December 15th. Please note the change from last year when you could select a plan until January 31st. This is the ONLY TIME that you can purchase a policy unless you become eligible for a Special Enrollment Period due to a change in your family status or you lose coverage from another source. Medica will be the only company offering coverage to individuals and families in Nebraska in 2018. Those who have a “pre-ACA” policy (issued before 1/1/14) will be allowed to keep it next year. All other Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield plans will terminate on December 31st.
Despite all of the news and conversation about attempts in Washington DC to repeal or change the Affordable Care Act, no new laws have been passed. The ACA remains in-force for 2018. The premium that you pay for a policy will be based on your income. Those who make less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for a Premium Tax Credit that can be used to reduce your monthly premium.
Employer Group Plans – Many employer group plans renew in the first quarter of the year with the majority of them on January 1st. Employer plans will typically offer an Open Enrollment during the 30 days preceding the renewal date (A plan that renews on January 1st will offer Open Enrollment from December 1st – 31st). During Open Enrollment employees and their dependents can join the group plan if they had previously waived coverage, and they can change their benefit choices.
Both the Medicare and Individual & families enrollment periods for 2018 are limited. Please call and make an appointment with a ComPro agent right away.
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