Open Enrollment is here for 2016 health plans. According to an article on The Street, individuals spend less than 30 minutes researching their benefits. If you are someone that understands health insurance plans backwards and forwards this sounds like a decent amount of time to spend, but many Americans do not understand the other language that is “health insurance.” This kind of care less response to choosing something incredibly important could have a huge impact when you find yourself filing claims for a medical procedure that you weren’t expecting.
Once you enroll in a health plan during Open Enrollment for 2016 you are locked into that plan for the entire calendar year unless you have a qualifying even like a birth, marriage, or major move. Open Enrollment goes through January 31st this year. The important deadlines and dates to remember are:
November 1st, 2015: First day to enroll in a health plan for a January 1st, 2016 start date.
December 15th, 2015: Last day to enroll in a health plan for a January 1st, 2016 start date.
January 1st, 2016: First day of coverage for those that enrolled in health plans from November 1st, 2015-December 15th, 2015
January 15th, 2016: Last day to enroll in a health plan for a February 1st, 2016 start date.
January 16th-January 31st: Enrollment days for a March 1st, 2016 start date.
January 31st: The last day to enroll in a health plan for 2016 without a qualifying event.
In a recent Aflac survey it was found that many people would rather complete tedious chores than research benefits with 38% who would rather clean out their email inbox, 23% would rather clean their toiled, 21% would rather pull weeds, 18% would rather do their taxes, and 12% would rather have a dental cavity filled. These tasks are ones that nobody in their right mind would sign up to do, but in comparison to choosing a health plan people chose that over their health plans. If choosing a health plan is that daunting to you then it’s encouraged to seek out a broker that has familiarized themselves with the ins and outs of health plans. Moreover they can break down the “health insurance language” into plain English allowing you to shop your health plan with understanding.
If you have had issues this year with your health carrier or your health plan make sure this year open enrollment is easier and seek out somebody whose job it is to understand each plan and what, who and how much it covers.
Read the full article on The Street HERE