Open Enrollment 2019: Everything You Need to Know
If you're like most Americans, you're probably wondering: what the heck is open enrollment? In short, it's a window of time in which can sign up for health insurance or make changes to your existing coverage. Since this window ends December 15th, we're here to help you navigate the process and ensure you're informed to get best coverage for your unique needs.
Are you looking for a new health insurance plan this upcoming year? The open enrollment period begins on November 1st and runs through December 15th. Now is the time to get educated on what open enrollment means for you, and what options you have this year.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Determine your eligibility.
Step 2: Prepare your enrollment information. This includes income, employment information, and healthcare status. Read the fine print here. Now, you can enroll online, via phone, postal mail or in-person.
Step 3: Assess your options. You can even preview plans before enrolling to sample what's out there. This is not only a time to find new coverage, but to switch plans if you're not happy with your current options.
You might be wondering...
What if I miss the open enrollment period?
Don't sweat it. If you're unable to apply by the December 15th, 2018 deadline, you can try for the Special Enrollment Period, which allows people facing certain circumstances such as job loss, unanticipated loss of coverage, etc. to apply. Find out more.
I don't want insurance coverage. Will I be fined?
You won't be penalized for forgoing coverage. This option is new this year, as last year people faced a hefty fine for lack of coverage.
So...what about premiums? Are they going up?
It's hard to say. Premiums will fluctuate based on state, income, coverage requirements, etc. Visit healthcare.gov for updated information.
What does all this insurance lingo actually mean?
A study on consumer health insurance literacy shows that only 4% of Americans are able to define four of the most common terms related to their coverage. Health insurance is complicated. Here’s what you need to know:
Claim: A way for you to get your hard-earned dollars back! Claims are formal requests for reimbursement for services for which you've paid out-of-pocket.
Co-payment (co-pay): "That'll be $20 for your visit today" is a phrase we've all heard before. Your co-pay is the fixed amount of $ you pay each time you see a practitioner, specialist or fill a prescription.
Deductible: Amount you'll pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company starts covering costs.
Premium: The bill you pay monthly to your insurance company. The average premium for an individual in the U.S. hovers around $440-- and that's just for one person!
In-Network Provider: They've got the hookup. Your insurance company has an arrangement with in-network providers. Hence why you usually pay less for each visit.
Out-of-Network Provider: Since your insurance company does not have a contract with this provider, you'll most likely pay more to see them than you would an in-network provider.
Stay tuned for more health insurance tips! In the meantime, see what Voro users have to say about using our concierge to book appointments. We'll find a provider that fits all of your needs and your insurance plan.
Open enrollment starts November 1st. Spread the word for anyone in your community who might need this information!