2018 Individual Health Insurance OEP – Open Enrollment Period
This year for the first time they will not have an extended enrollment period for the 2018 Individual Health Insurance OEP. To make changes or to enroll in a health plan
for 2018, you will have a 45-day window to make plan changes – November 1st, 2017 through December 15th, 2017. If you miss Open Enrollment Period (OEP) you can only enroll in a plan is you have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Make sure you take advantage of this time to evaluation the many new options you may have in your area. You do not want to let the opportunity to change plans be missed, otherwise you will be stuck with your current plan for another year.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child. If you qualify for an SEP, you usually have up to 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan. If you do not have one of these SEPs, you will not be able to enroll in a individual health plan. As long as you are healthy, you can enroll in a short term health plan, that will cover you for 90-days. When you apply for these short term plans they do look at your medical history or if you have any pending medical needs. They can deny offering you coverage because of those conditions.
Association Health Plans
There are Association Health Plans that allow you to enroll any time during the year, but they do underwriting as well and will only let healthy people join the group. These Association Plans are true group insurance run by an Association. They allow you to join the group, you will get a full Affordable Care Act (ACA) Compliant Group coverage. These plans can really help clients that have missed the Open Enrollment and do not have a Special Enrollment Period.
Health Share Plans
Health Share Plans – these are not health insurance, but they can provide an Affordable Care Act exception from penalty. You can join these plans year round, they do have waiting periods on plans before they cover pre-existing conditions. These plans are as well a lower cost approach to protection and we have seen many people gravitate to this type of coverage. These are not health insurance though, so do you research on the various plans and make sure you know what you are purchasing.
Agents Assist You to Find the Best Coverage during 2018 Individual Health Insurance OEP
Finally, if you are having trouble trying to figure out which options would be best for you, work with an independent agent. Agents are familiar with the many health plan options that are on the market. The agent-broker can help you answer any questions or concerns you may have before selecting a plan. Independent agents can as well help you verify if your doctor is part of the plans network. With all the HMO plans we have in Texas, this has become the biggest challenge for our clients to find out if they can continue to go to their doctor. The agent can help you navigate the best options for you and your specific situation. You do not need to go it alone, contact an agent to assist you during 2018 Individual Health Insurance OEP.