Open enrollment for health insurance began on November 1. Do your employees have all the information they need? For younger employees or those just returning to the workplace, catching up on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how employer and marketplace insurance plans work can be complicated. Here’s a quick refresher to send to employees when the questions begin rolling in, but don’t forget to add in your own company’s policies.
Why does open enrollment matter?
You can only buy health insurance during one period each year with very limited exceptions. For 2017, the period is from November 1, 2016–January 31, 2017. If employees miss this period, or possibly the more limited period your company allows, they cannot make changes to their plans or enroll at a later time without qualifying for an exception.
What are the exceptions for the enrollment period?
If you get married or divorced, have a child, or change jobs, you qualify to change your insurance plan at any other time during the year. If you don’t fall into these exceptions, you’re required to stay on the plan you choose for the remainder of 2017.
Can employees keep the same plan they had last year?
In most cases, yes. You can keep the same plan, but take into account that some plans will be disappearing from the marketplace this year. If this is the case, the company or employee will need to choose a new plan.
What can I do during open enrollment?
- You can reenroll in your current plan.
- You can switch to a new plan.
- If the company offers it, you can add a spouse to your plan.
- You can add dental insurance.
Even for plans that are staying the same, the rates are climbing rapidly for some. Double check that your plan, whether it’s employer-provided or a private plan, has a rate that you can still afford.
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