Open enrollment is almost here! We know that your employees will have questions, even after your open enrollment meetings with your insurance agent. So we’ve prepared answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
What Is Open Enrollment?
It’s the time period during which you may enroll in or change your health insurance plan. If you’re eligible for the insurance plan, and you sign up during open enrollment, they have to cover you.
When Is the OE Period?
In most states, including Nevada, open enrollment for 2019 health plans is from November 1-December 15. Some states have extended OE periods.
When Will My New Insurance Plan Become Effective?
If you enroll in health insurance during the upcoming OE period, your new plan will become effective on January 1, 2019. Likewise, if you make changes to your insurance elections during this period, those will become effective January 1 as well.
Can I Sign up for Insurance After Open Enrollment?
Most of the time, you can only enroll in an ACA-compliant health insurance plan during the designated OE period. But if you miss open enrollment and you still want to purchase health insurance, you might have some other options. These include special enrollment periods after a qualifying life event (QLE) and short-term medical plans.
What is a Qualifying Life Event and a Special Enrollment Period?
There are certain life events that qualify you to enroll in health insurance outside of OE. These are called QLEs. If you experience one of these events, you will usually have a 60 day special enrollment period during which you can sign up for a new health plan or change your previous elections.
Some QLEs include:
- Losing your previous health coverage
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Losing your job
- Losing your Medicaid or CHIP eligibility
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- Turning 26 and aging off your parents’ plan
*This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of QLEs. If you think you may have experienced a QLE that’s not on this list, contact your insurance agent to ask about it.
What Is a Short-Term Medical Plan
Think of short-term health plans as stop-gap coverage. It’s not as comprehensive as the major medical plan offered by your employer, but it’s usually less expensive, and you can purchase it outside of open enrollment. They provide limited health benefits, and every plan is different. For example, some plans may cover preventative care and prescription drugs, while some may not. But remember, these short-term plans are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act. This means that they don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions, they can charge higher premiums based on your health status, and they are limited to three months in duration.
Do you still have questions? We have answers! Give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to talk to you and your staff about open enrollment.