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Life is always changing, and your health insurance should change with it. Open Enrollment is the perfect time to rethink your health insurance to ensure you have coverage that meets your needs and budget.
Open Enrollment typically runs from November 1 to January 31 annually, but actual dates can vary by state. Knowing the timing and the different plan options in your state can help you be more prepared when Open Enrollment begins.
Understand your Open Enrollment options with the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plans offer four categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. The plans are flexible and differ only in how you and your insurance provider share the overall cost. Just know that not all insurers provide all the plan categories and coverage may vary by state.
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Change your health insurance to match changes in your life
During Open Enrollment, you may be able to keep the health insurance plan you currently have or change your plan based on new needs in coverage or cost. Think about a new ACA plan for more coverage or lower health insurance costs.
With a Bronze plan, you receive the lowest monthly premium, but it has the highest deductible. A Bronze plan is your best choice when you do not visit your doctor beyond preventive care visits, but want peace-of-mind protection for medical emergencies.
Silver plans have a slightly higher average monthly premium but offer a lower deductible than a Bronze plan. If you qualify, you can save even more with the Silver plan by receiving a health insurance subsidy, including an Advanced Premium Tax Credit and Cost-Sharing Reductions.
Selecting a Gold plan means the monthly premium is higher, and the deductible is low. Gold is the best plan if you require a lot of health care because almost all of your routine medical care costs are covered.
When you choose a Platinum plan, you receive the highest monthly premium and the lowest deductible. Platinum is the preferred plan when you rely on routine medical care regularly and want the most coverage.
What happens if you miss the Open Enrollment Period?
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have a qualifying life event. A Special Enrollment may give you the chance to secure health care protection outside of Open Enrollment.
Some of the most common Special Enrollment qualifications include:
- You were just married
- You recently had a baby or adopted a child
- You lost insurance coverage from a job loss
- Divorce or separation
- The death of a spouse who provided health insurance coverage
Use Open Enrollment as a chance to enhance coverage
Open Enrollment also allows you to add supplemental insurance coverage that takes your protection to the next level.
Accident insurance, critical illness insurance, and hospital recovery insurance provide more comprehensive coverage beyond typical health insurance plans. And Open Enrollment is the best time to add broader coverage for additional financial safety.
Fitting health insurance into your budget during Open Enrollment
Open enrollment may also be an opportunity for you to pay less for health insurance. In 2019, 87% of enrollees received financial help through health insurance subsidies, which significantly reduced the cost of purchasing health coverage through the Marketplace.1 Learn more about health insurance subsidies to see if you qualify.
Receive help with Open Enrollment
At Anthem, we understand that during Open Enrollment you could use a helping hand. Anthem will guide you through the Open Enrollment process and assist in choosing a health insurance plan that matches your needs and life today.
1 CMS.gov website: Health Insurance Exchanges 2019 Open Enrollment Report (accessed August 2020).