Trying to get ready for the health insurance Open Enrollment Period for 2019 and not sure where to start? Let’s talk all things Open Enrollment: dates, key information to know, and the steps you can take to prepare in advance.
“What Is Open Enrollment?”
The Open Enrollment Period (sometimes shortened to OEP) is the one time of year when the Health Insurance Marketplace is open, allowing individuals to purchase coverage for the next year. During Open Enrollment, clients can enroll, re-enroll, or change their plans for 2019.
“When Is Open Enrollment for 2019?”
The Open Enrollment Period for 2019 begins on November 1st, 2018, and ends on December 15, 2018. That’s a 45-day window.
Open Enrollment for 2019: Other Important Dates to Keep in Mind
- Your state may offer an extended Open Enrollment window. Be sure to consult with local healthcare resources to find out if the guidelines for your state are different from the federal standard.
- Plans sold or renewed during Open Enrollment go into effect on January 1, 2019.
- If you are uninsured and do not get coverage by December 15, 2018, you may be stuck behind “the wall.” This means you may not be able to enroll in a new individual insurance plan until the next OEP, unless you experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). More information on QLEs and Special Enrollment can be found here.
“Why Is Open Enrollment Important?”
Whether you’re looking to purchase new coverage or re-enroll in you current policy, Open Enrollment is a valuable time to consider your health insurance strategy heading into 2019.
Evaluating your current coverage, planning for the year ahead, and conducting a policy review at this time of year are important things to do for a few reasons:
- Insurance companies update their plan options every Open Enrollment season, and it can be hard to know exactly what changes are in store until November 1st.
- Networks are often changing or in flux. Are your favorite doctors still going to be within your plan’s network next year?
- Your or your family’s needs may have changed over the course of the year. Will you be able to get the best possible coverage for your situation in 2019?
“What Can I Do to Get Ready for Open Enrollment?”
For many people around the country, the Open Enrollment process can be a mad scramble. Fortunately, there are steps you can take ahead of time to help things go more smoothly.
One way to make things much easier is to get in touch with a health insurance consultant, like Matt Peebles of the Enrollment Specialists.
Matt will sit down with you to conduct a policy review. This health insurance superhero has access and knowledge of all the plans on the market, and you’ll never be pressured to buy. Matt can help you evaluate your current health insurance coverage, review your new policy options, and draw up a customized health insurance portfolio, completely unique to best match your needs.
The best part? With Matt, your policy review will be a quick and painless three-step process:
- Matt will lead a review of your current plan, showing you if and how your current plan will be changing in 2019. He’ll also discuss any changes in your or your family’s medical needs or status that may have occurred over the past year.
- He’ll then help you explore other plan options, new policies, or additional benefits, as needed.
- Finally, Matt will highlight the value of different policy options, and offer you his guidance based on his years of experience, on what policies he thinks will serve you best. You will be able to decide for yourself what plan will ultimately work best for you.
“What Should Be on My Open Enrollment ‘To-Do’ List?”
As you look ahead to Open Enrollment and your personalized policy review, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind:
Get the ball rolling early
At this time of year, the demand on insurance companies is high and the enrollment window is shorter than it seems. The sooner you enroll, the better-equipped you’ll be to head into 2019 with confidence — and with all of your documentation and cards in hand and ready to go — so be sure to request your policy review appointment with the Enrollment Specialists as soon as possible.
Collect important information ahead of time
Having relevant personal and household information organized and ready to go can make enrolling in the perfect plan much easier. Before Open Enrollment, you’ll want to collect the following information:
- Employment and income records
- Tax forms
- Social security numbers and information for yourself and any dependents
- Documents that explain your current coverage and benefits
Think about your insurance concerns
As you get ready to sit down with Matt and conduct your policy review, be sure that all the decision makers in your family/household will be available to talk/join the conversation at that time, too; and be prepared to talk over your options in some depth. Consider your insurance wants, needs, and concerns heading into the New Year. Don’t be afraid to come ready with questions.
About the Enrollment Specialists
Looking for help navigating the Open Enrollment Period? Led by our founder and principal consultant Matt Peebles, the Enrollment Specialists are here to assist you through Open Enrollment with ease.
As one of the nation’s top health insurance consultants, Matt truly takes care to understand the unique needs of each of his clients and gets specific in his thinking. He’ll use every tool at his disposal to make sure your medical costs are minimized and your coverage is at its peak, while providing you with expert advice and guidance at every step of the way.
Even better? Whenever you have questions or need assistance with your health insurance policy, Matt is here and always ready to help. With the Enrollment Specialists, you’ll never have to bother with call centers or anonymous online chat services. Instead, Matt will be your go-to guy, ready to step in and help for the entire life of your policy.
Want to get the jump on Open Enrollment? Ready to say, “I Got A Guy” for all things health and life insurance? Drop us a line today to get the conversation started.