Each fall, we begin talking about Open Enrollment. During this time, you should review your current health insurance plan, investigate different options, try to anticipate future healthcare needs, and update your policy as needed.
For most of you, Open Enrollment means that you will evaluate your Covered California health insurance plan. But once you reach eligibility (at age 65), you switch to a Medicare health insurance plan. Each of those programs have a different Open Enrollment period, even though both begin in the fall of each year.
Confused yet? It’s really not that complicated. You only need to know the Open Enrollment dates for the program in which you are enrolled, and be ready to make the switch when you turn 65 one day.
Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 1, and lasts through December 7. Starting October 1, we can discuss changes in the program and help you compare rates for supplement plans. You have this time to get a jump start on your research, and then the program will actually begin accepting applications for changes on October 15. Submit your application by December 7. Any changes will take effect on January 1.
This Open Enrollment period does not apply to your first year of Medicare eligibility. You are eligible to begin your application three months before your 65th birthday, no matter what time of year that happens to be.
Open Enrollment for all Individual and Family plans begins November 1, and runs through January 31. It’s best to go ahead and complete your application by December 15, if you want coverage to begin on January 1, but you do have a bit longer if you need more time. The important thing to remember is that you must submit your application by the 15th of the month, if you want your changes to become effective on the first day of the following month.
Hopefully we’ve cleared up any confusion you might have experienced over Open Enrollment dates. But as always, you can call us with any questions you might have, and we’ll be happy to help you with your health insurance needs.