What else do I need to know?
As we approach the close of open enrollment for the 2017 season, many of our clients still have questions, so we’ll do our best to address some of them in this article.
When is open enrollment over? Open enrollment officially ends on December 15th, 2017, but there is one special exception. If you are a hurricane Harvey victim and suffered damage as a result, the government is offering an extension until December 31st, 2017. The extension is only for those who have suffered verifiable damage. If you did not suffer damage, living in an affected area is not enough to qualify and your open enrollment will end on 12/15/17.
When is my January payment due? Payments to your health insurance carrier for plans that begin on January 1st are due on January 1st, 2018. The Marketplace has always required that payments must be received before the policy gins and this year is no exception.
Is the Individual Mandate still in force? With the passage of the new tax reform law, the individual mandate has been removed and you are no longer required by law to purchase health insurance for 2018.
Does this mean it’s a good idea to go without? Of course not. Both individual and small group health insurance is the best way to protect your family and company against any unforeseen financial expenses due to medical issues. Not having this valuable protection can place you at great unnecessary risk.
When will I receive my new ID cards? ID Cards and new member packets are normally shipped only after the first payment is made and, in the case of an HMO, after you have named your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Make sure to do both of those to ensure a seamless transition to your new plan.
How can I make changes to my mode of billing, PCP or Address? All carriers have an online Member Account section whereby you can create a typical User ID/Password combination. Just log into this section and you can typically set up ongoing bank drafts, change your address or primary care physician and even cancel your plan if need be.
Will my old policy automatically be cancelled? Definitely not. You must call the old carrier and cancel your policy on your own. A broker cannot cancel an individual health insurance policy on behalf of a client. Every year, a few clients mistakenly forget to call and end up having two policies. This can normally be easily corrected if caught in time (normally within a month), but if you wait too long, the insurance carrier will not refund any premiums if there was no attempt to cancel.
Since open enrollment is over, can I still form a small group policy for my business? Yes you can. Open enrollment only applies to individual policies and not small or large group insurance plans. In other words, there is no pen enrollment for group health insurance policies. We can form these anytime you are properly set up with your business and then you can simply cancel your individual health policy.
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss a group insurance plan, just reach out to us at 866.270.6209 or visit us at www.selectedbenefits.com