In the health insurance world, this is one of the most important stretches of days, if not the most important. An Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is when you’re allowed to start, stop or change your health insurance plan. Each year the OEP lasts 45 days, November 1st to December 15th. Normally, you sign up around the end of one calendar year for coverage that lasts the next full year.
So how does one prepare for an OEP? Familiarizing yourself with how the Marketplace works is a great start. First and foremost the Marketplace is for people who don’t have health insurance. This can be because you are an independent contractor and do not have job offered insurance for example. Second, what you pay for your premium depends on your income for the year (expected household income for the year you want coverage, not last year’s). You can get a rough estimate using this tool (https://www.healthcare.gov/income-calculator/) to help calculate each household member’s income. Based off of this number, you can qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill and more.
Another great idea would be to read through our previous articles on various health insurance related terms like Special Enrollment Period, Short Term Medical and Deductibles, so you are better acquainted with terms you will see again. When it comes to insurance, knowledge is your super power and any bit of information you can absorb will aid your growth. Also knowing what your state offers is key as some do not participate in the Federal Marketplace. It’s easier for me to list the states who do not, and offer state based plans instead. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Washington and the District of Colombia. This will heavily impact how you purchase your insurance.
It’s very important to note that if you do not enroll by December 15, you can only get 2021 Marketplace coverage if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (see, told you it would come in handy to know this!) Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter for news, updates and more OEP content!