As of November 1st, 2015, the Open Enrollment Period of health insurance coverage for 2016 has begun. If you enroll by December 15th, 2015, your new coverage can begin on January 1st, 2016. Open Enrollment ends January 31st, 2016 and your coverage won’t take effect until March 1st, so the sooner you enroll, the sooner you’ll be covered.
However, if you miss the Open Enrollment period, you’ll need to wait until next year to receive coverage unless you meet a qualifying event, which are:
- Moving to another state
- Birth of a child
- Turning 26 and leaving your parent’s existing insurance plan
Factors to Watch When Choosing a Plan
If you choose to enroll in a new insurance coverage plan, it’s important to not only do your research before committing to a plan, but to also consult with a professional insurance specialist that can walk you through the complicated process to ensure you get the best coverage for your budget. That being said, closely evaluating some of your benefits and comparing your costs can add up to extra savings each month.
For instance, if you’re in your 40s or 50s and your company offers long-term healthcare insurance benefits, it may be wise to seek out benefits from your employer rather than the marketplace. Furthermore, some plans include benefits such as pre-paid legal fees that will offset the costs of estate planning documentation, which provides a legal will, dictates powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and even establishment of trusts and mutual funds. Also, some group health plans are portable, meaning you can keep your existing plan even if you change employers or retire.
Also, when comparing coverage available on the public marketplace versus private offerings, it’s important to understand that you may not be eligible for financial assistance if you choose a private insurance plan.
Finally, looking at plans that offer secondary or preventative reimbursement for massage therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture may drive up your monthly premiums. If you don’t plan on taking advantage of these benefits or plan to use them only as needed, the out of pocket costs of these services may be less than the addition to your premiums year-over-year.
All-in-all, we can’t stress strongly enough the importance of having a knowledgeable ally in the health insurance field. Mutual Benefits Inc. provides comprehensive overviews of your current coverage, comparisons with other insurance plans, and processing of your applications. We also go above and beyond other agencies, offering best-in-class customer service throughout the year and periodic reviews of your coverage as you progress through the various stages of life. Contact us today for a quote on your coverage or to discuss how we might help you during this Open Enrollment period.
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