It's hard to believe that September is nearly over. We've made it through summer, muddled through a Seattle teacher strike, and now open enrollment is upon us. I don't know about you, but I am a planner. I like plenty of notice before important events so I can make sure I don't forget to show up - or triple book myself and have to make tough choices.
Open enrollment for Medicare and Individual health insurance is just around the corner. We've all made snap decisions that we've come to regret. Health insurance shouldn't be one of them. Whether you have a favorite doctor, a chronic health condition, or just have limited funds, it is important to make sure that your health coverage fits your situation.
There have been lots of changes to the insurance landscape in the last few years, and a big one is open enrollment. Whether you are on Medicare or have an individual policy, you can make changes only once a year (there are some exceptions). It would be nice if the dates for both programs were the same, but that would be too easy!
Medicare open enrollment is October 15 - December 7, 2015
for changes effective January 1, 2016.
The dates for individual open enrollment have changed a lot over the last few years. This year the timeframe has been shortened, so it's more important than ever to make sure you have things squared away.
Individual and Family open enrollment is
November 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016.
The effective date of the changes will vary, but will be no earlier than January 1, 2016.
Why would you change your coverage? Isn't it a pain? Here are some things to consider:
Did you use your health coverage more or less this year? Are you paying for coverage you don't need?
Do you have any major procedures planned for next year? Are you planning to have a baby?
Do you have new prescription drugs? Do you have to meet a deductible before prescriptions are covered?
Has your doctor moved, retired, or is no longer covered by your plan?
Has your family changed? Have you gotten married, had a baby, or had a child move out of the house?
Are you nearing retirement age, or has your income level changed significantly?
Are you simply disatisfied with your current coverage?
Please contact us if you have questions about open enrollment. We are here to help!