Individual Health Insurance During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is November 1st-December 15th.  This is the only time during the year that an individual can enroll in a health insurance plan without needing a qualifying life event.  When you enroll during this time, your benefits will begin on January 1st.

Some of the top things to consider when choosing a plan are:

  • Deductible (the deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance plan starts to pay)
  • Out of Pocket Maximum (the maximum is the most you will have to pay in a plan year)
  • Whether a Co-Pay plan or an H.S.A. plan better suits your needs (the copay will be a set amount you will pay for a physician visit; where an H.S.A. usually has a higher amount you will pay based on the services you receive)
  • Provider Network (this is the group of health care providers that have contracted with the insurance carrier to provide care at a discount and accept the discounted price as payment in full)

You will find five health insurance carriers on the Marketplace:

  1. Ambetter
  2. Blue Cross
  3. Bright Health
  4. Cigna
  5. Oscar

You will recognize some of these carriers and others you will not.  Even with brand name recognition, that carrier may not be the best choice.  Each carrier will differ in their provider network and it is very important to know if your doctors and preferred hospitals are in-network before you choose a plan.

It is important to pay your first month’s premium right away.  Paying when you complete your enrollment is the best option, however, most carriers will allow you to make your first payment until the end of January.  If you do not pay when you enroll, keep in mind you will not be able to use your benefits, nor will you receive your ID card until the insurance carrier receives your first payment, so please check with the insurance carrier you chose to make sure you do not miss their payment deadline.

The landscape of today’s health insurance marketplace can be confusing.  Keep in mind there are health insurance brokers that are able to help you navigate this terrain. If you should have any questions about open enrollment or individual health insurance, please contact us today!