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5 Things You Should Know Before Open Enrollment

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5 Things You Should Know Before Open Enrollment

This year, the Department of Health and Human Services has decided the Open Enrollment window will be only 45 days.  How does this affect you?  It means if you need to purchase a healthcare plan through the marketplace, you’ll only have from November 1st to December 15th to make a choice about healthcare coverage.  This is a significantly shorter open enrollment period than in years past, which gave people at least three months to enroll in a plan. With such a small timeframe and so many different plans to research and choose from, confidently choosing the right coverage can seem overwhelming and impossible.

Here are some things you need to know before entering the healthcare exchange that will bolster your confidence and help you choose the best coverage for you and your family.

  1. Know Your Provider Network – Are you hoping to keep your doctor or continue receiving care at the same clinics and pharmacies?  Some plans have a limited provider network, meaning they only offer care from certain providers, clinics and pharmacies.  To make sure you have continuity of care with your current healthcare providers and medical facilities, we recommend speaking with an expert, such as a healthcare broker.
  2. Know Your Medical Needs – Do you need to see a specialist, receive specific prescriptions or schedule any major procedures in the coming year?  These things all play an important role in which plan you choose.  If you do not need all the coverage provided with a more expensive platinum or gold plan, why spend the extra money when a lower medal level would be a better fit?  On the other hand, if you do need higher levels of medical care, you will want to choose a plan that will cover all your healthcare needs.
  3. Know Your MAGI -- No, we don’t mean the ancient eastern travelers so often seen around Christmastime.  MAGI is Modified Adjusted Gross Income, and the IRS uses it to determine if an individual is eligible for tax credits.  The allowed MAGI to receive the premium tax credit to offset healthcare costs is up to 400% of the poverty level, which for a family of four is $25,100 in 2018 (higher in AK and HI).
  4. Know Your Timeline – Are you currently receiving COBRA healthcare coverage?  If so, know when it expires.  Will you be turning 65 this year, qualifying you for Medicare coverage?  This will affect the type of coverage you shop for in the exchange.  These are important things to know as they have separate windows of time for enrolling in a new health plan.
  5. Know the Open Enrollment Window – The 2018 Open Enrollment Period is November 1 - December 15.  No extensions will be offered this year for latecomers.  Make sure you mark your calendar and choose a plan within that window, so you have the coverage you need.

RedQuote Can Help

Redquote is a team of passionate and experienced healthcare advisors ready to help you navigate the healthcare exchange.  We’ll help you compare plans and benefits to make sure you have exactly what you need and aren’t stuck paying for extra coverage you don’t.  Our team will help you choose the right plan, figure out your MAGI and walk you through the enrollment process.  Don’t hesitate to call ReQuote today!

Published Oct 8, 2018.

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