Open Enrollment for Individuals and Families ends on 12/15 each year. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ends on 12/7 each year. If you applied for coverage before the deadline, your new plan should start on 1/1. Before you close the books on your insurance plan, there are a few housekeeping items you need to review after Open Enrollment ends.
If you apply for coverage mid year, the insurance company will require you to submit Qualifying Life Event Documentation. During Open Enrollment, many of these requirements are waived. Most applications during Open Enrollment do not require you to submit verification information. Sometimes the insurance company will ask for additional documentation to verify your address or other personal information. The insurance company will notify you in writing if you need to submit more information. If you applied through the Exchange for subsidized insurance, the Exchange will notify you if you need to submit more information. You can check to see if there are any outstanding requirements by calling the insurance company or Exchange directly.
Paying the First Premium
If you are applying for new coverage, you need to pay the initial premium before the deadline. Each insurance company has different deadlines for payments. Usually, insurance companies require the initial premium before the coverage starts.
If you are renewing, you may have an extended deadline for the renewing plan’s premium. It is always a good idea to confirm these payment deadlines with the insurance company.
After Open Enrollment ends, the insurance company will mail you new ID Cards. These ID Cards should arrive via USPS mail before the new coverage starts. Most insurance companies provide a PDF copy of ID Cards online. If you do not receive your ID Cards before the coverage starts, you will want to login online and find an electronic copy of your ID Cards. Some insurance companies change policy numbers each year. Most insurance companies will maintain the same policy number on your account from year to year.
Setting Up Automatic Payments
Setting up automatic payments will ensure that your plan does not lapse due to non-payment mid year. As mentioned above, your insurance company most likely has online access. To set up autopay, you should be able to access your payment options online through your login. If your insurance company does not have online access, please call their Member Services phone number.
Electing a Broker
Did you know that electing a broker does not cost you anything? The insurance company you are enrolled in pays for our fees without changing your premium or benefits. A broker will advise you on plan options each year. Brokers will also explain information on your policy and help you with claims. Give us a call today if you want to work with a broker.