Find out what Open Enrollment means with insight from health insurance agent Michelle Bungo.
Open Enrollment announcements are everywhere. You’ve probably heard about it on TV commercials, radio announcements, and on the internet. But what is Open Enrollment, and how can it impact you? Health insurance agent Michelle Bungo answers common questions about Open Enrollment to help you prepare for 2020.
For most states, the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) starts November 1st and ends December 15th. This six week period is the only time of year that people can register for health insurance plans. Michelle Bungo explains that the only exception to this rule is if you experience a qualifying life event. People with existing plans may change coverage providers during this time as well.
The government created the OEP so that insurance companies can function correctly. Healthy individuals pay for insurance regularly in case of illness. They are contributing to the money pool by paying monthly premiums while sick people pull money out of the pool through claims. If people only purchased insurance when they got ill, there would never be claim money available. The OEP helps maintain the balance so that people can have care when they need it.
Any American between the ages of 18 – 64 may find Open Enrollment beneficial. Those who purchased health insurance last year will be automatically re-enrolled if no action is taken. While it may seem convenient to keep the same plan year after year, Michelle Bungo notes that it can be risky. It’s common for plan premiums to increase while benefits change.
Research health insurance plans during the Open Enrollment periods to make sure you have the best coverage for your needs. Insurance companies are offering more plans than ever before, expanding reach into new zip codes. Michelle Bungo explains that this means it’s possible to choose from more plan options this upcoming year! Additionally, premium prices are going down by an average of 4% in 2020.
There may be an abundance of plans to choose from, but that doesn’t mean you need to enroll in all coverage options! Michelle Bungo notes that many people choose to enroll in dental, vision, life, disability, and accident insurance for additional protection. However, if you feel that you won’t use a specific service, there is no need to enroll.
Health Insurance is available through both federal and state exchanges. Low-income individuals and families who need assistance paying for standard premiums may qualify for subsidies. For help finding a plan, Michelle Bungo recommends visiting a local health insurance agent.