Take Advantage of Open Enrollment 2019

Health insurance open enrollment for 2019 is just around the corner. For most of us, it’s time for a review of our current health insurance and benefit choices.  Whether you have insurance benefits offered through an employer plan, or you are shopping in the open market, there are some important things to remember. 

Know the dates:  Open enrollment for 2019 coverage will begin November 1, 2018 and end on December 15, 2018 in most states.  If you are enrolling through an employer plan, check with your Human Resources (HR) department for company specific dates.

How you can prepare:  Gather all of the necessary information prior to filling out the application.  This includes social security numbers, tax filing information, and current health coverage information for you and any dependents that will also be covered.  Having these documents on hand will make the enrollment process much smoother. 

What to know before enrollment:  Make sure you understand your current coverage and any changes that you may be facing.  Premium changes, deductible changes and out of pocket expenses should be considered.  Think about your health care spending from recent years and also consider any expenses you may expect to incur in the coming year.  In most states, once you are enrolled in a plan, it can be difficult to make changes, so planning is important!

What if you miss open enrollment:  After open enrollment ends, your opportunity to enroll in health insurance coverage for 2019 may be limited.  You may be able to sign up mid-year if you experience a qualifying event (loss of coverage, birth of a child, marriage, etc.).  If you don’t have a valid qualifying event, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period in the fall of 2019.

What if you choose to opt out of health insurance:  In previous years, there was a mandate in place for individuals to have health insurance.  However, this has recently changed.  Individuals in most states will no longer face fines on their 2020 taxes for not having health insurance coverage.  You can visit https://www.healthcare.gov for more information on enrolling in health insurance coverage for 2019, or visit your employer’s HR department. 

Make sure you take advantage of your employer benefits today to help protect your future!