Understanding the process for open enrollment will ensure that you check all the right boxes when it comes to getting health insurance.
Open enrollment 2020 is nearing. That means it’s time to check in with your current health insurance status. While we’re still squarely in 2019, it’s never too early to get prepared, know the dates—and plan.
Whether you’re buying for an individual or a family, here’s everything you need to know about open enrollment 2020 from the employee’s perspective.
When Is Open Enrollment 2020?
November 1, 2019 – December 15, 2019
When is Open Enrollment 2020?
Despite changes to the Affordable Healthcare Act, open enrollment for the 2019 year will still occur. During this period, US citizens can still enroll in a healthcare plan via the Obamacare policy as in previous years. In general (meaning for most companies, because this varies between businesses), the 2020 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2019 to December 15, 2019.
Preparing for Open Enrollment 2020
To prepare for open enrollment, it’s a good idea to gather essential information for your application. This includes:
- You social security number(s) for you and whomever will be on your plan
- Tax filing information
- Current health coverage information
- Facts about dependents who you’d like to cover
- An understanding or plan for your medical needs for the year. (Will you need orthodontia? Are you preparing for kids?)
Having these documents on hand will make the enrollment process much smoother, especially when getting help from a broker who might ask you a few key questions.
Additionally, it’s important to note that budgets are shorter than usual when it comes to brokers and healthcare insurance agents. When looking for enrollment assistance this year, it could be harder to find an assistant to work with last minute. For that reason, finding a broker and booking an appointment ahead of time can make sure that you get all of your questions answered.
What qualifies you for a special enrollment period?
A special enrollment period is a time outside of the ordinary enrollment period where certain individuals can apply for health insurance. Certain life events, such as having a baby, losing coverage, getting married or moving, can qualify you for a special enrollment period. Moreover, anyone can apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) any time of the year.
Can I sign up for health insurance after open enrollment?
If you miss the open enrollment period, and you don’t have special enrollment status, you risk going uninsured until the next enrollment period. You might still be able to get coverage if you’re under the age of 26 and you can be covered by your parents’ insurance plans, however. Additionally, taking on a part-time job can get you covered (if you work for a place like Whole Foods or Starbucks, for example).
Additionally, you might also be able to sign up for Medicaid. This program is designed solely for individuals who have are low-income, pregnant, or disabled. Children and the elderly also qualify, but requirements vary by state.
How much is the penalty for not having health insurance?
One thing that will differ from the past is that the individual mandate for health insurance will no longer remain in place. This means that individuals won’t be fined on their 2019 taxes for not having ACA-compliant health insurance. Some states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, do have their own state mandates, however.