It’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean time to hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on endless loop. Although, it is that time too. I’m talking about Open Enrollment, the time when you can enroll or make changes to your healthcare coverage. Although that doesn’t sound nearly as fun as Christmas music, it’s still an important decision that affects you and your family.
There’s a lot to consider, and it can be a bit overwhelming. So as you’re sorting through the information, here are few things you should know.
If you receive healthcare benefits from your employer, your company will determine a two - four week open enrollment period and communicate it through your human resources department.
For coverage through Medicare, the open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7 for coverage to take effect on January 1
If you are covered under the Affordable Care Act, there are a few important dates you need to remember. November 1, 2022 is the first day of open enrollment for 2023 coverage. If you enroll before December 15, your new coverage will take effect on January 1.
For those who sign up between December 16, 2022 and January 15, 2023., your coverage will take effect on February 1, 2023. But don’t wait too long. January 15 is the absolute last day to enroll in or make changes to your health coverage for 2023.
If you miss the deadline, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you have a qualifying life event like marriage, divorce, birth/adoption of a child or moving.
When choosing your coverage, it’s important to look for the plan that works best for your healthcare needs and your budget. Pay attention to the monthly premiums, co-pays and your deductible (the amount you will have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance begins picking up the cost). You should also check to see if your preferred doctors are in-network and whether or not your medications are covered.
If you’re already covered under your company’s plan, the open enrollment period is the time to look at your current coverage and make sure it still meets your needs. If you’ve had any changes to your health status or personal status (marriage, divorce, children), you may need to make changes to your coverage to accommodate.