When Can I Enroll in a Health Insurance Plan?
Understanding the various health insurance election periods can be a bit like decoding a complex puzzle. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the different election periods and give you the knowledge you need to get the right plan at the right time.
Open Enrollment Period
Who Can Enroll?
Individuals and families who are under 65 or not enrolled in a Medicare plan.
When is it?
Normally, the Open Enrollment Period lasts from November 1st to December 15th. Any plan that you enroll in during this time period will be effective the following January 1st. In past years, the Open Enrollment Period has been extended to end on January 15th. In the years when it has been extended, anyone who enrolled from January 1st to January 15th had a plan effective for February 1st. The Open Enrollment Period is not always extended, so if you do want to make a change or enroll in a plan, you should try to enroll by December 15th.
What Are Some Key Points to Remember During Open Enrollment?
- Keep in mind when the end of Open Enrollment Period is. Mark your calendars to make sure you don’t forget to enroll.
- Reevaluate your needs to see if it would make more sense to switch to a plan offering more benefits.
- When switching policies, pay close attention to the deductibles, premiums, networks, and benefits of the plans.
- Plan benefits and premiums change each year so make sure your new plan is still going to offer good benefits for the following year.
Special Enrollment Periods for Non-Medicare Enrollees
What’s a Special Enrollment Period?
A special enrollment period is one that allows you to enroll in a health insurance plan outside the Open Enrollment Period. If you are outside the Open Enrollment Period, and do not have a Special Enrollment Period, you cannot enroll after January 1st and would need to wait until the following November 1st to apply. In order to be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you must have an eligible Qualifying Life Event.
What are Some Common Examples of a Qualifying Life Event?
- Losing your coverage due to a job loss or job change
- Losing coverage through your employer (if they stop offering it to you)
- COBRA coverage ending
- Losing coverage through a spouse or parent
- Moving into Connecticut from another state
- Getting married
- Becoming pregnant or giving birth
- Gain of eligible immigration status or citizenship
How Long Do I Have To Enroll After Having a Qualifying Life Event?
Normally, you have 60 days after the event occurred to enroll in coverage. For example, let’s say a couple gets married on 08/01/2023. They would have 60 days from 08/01/2023 in order to enroll in a health insurance plan. If you have a specific question about a certain Qualifying Life Event, you should contact us so that we could accurately let you know how long you have to enroll.
Do I Need to Provide Anything Else Before Applying?
Yes! In order to use a Special Election Period, you must be able to prove that a Qualifying Life Event happened to you through some document. For example, if your coverage through an employer was ending as of 08/31/2023, you would need to provide a letter from your previous employer stating that your coverage was going to end as of 08/31/2023. When applying for coverage, we would assist you in sending this letter with your application. If you do not have proof that a Qualifying Life Event happened to you, then the insurance company will not accept the application. Contact us to find out exactly what you would need to provide based on your specific circumstance.
Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment Period
Medicaid is for eligible individuals or families with low incomes. If you meet the income and eligibility criteria for the Medicaid program, then you would be able to apply. The enrollment period for those eligible for Medicaid is open all year round. In order to get accurate information on the income thresholds for the Medicaid program, you can visit https://portal.ct.gov/HUSKY/How-to-Qualify.
The HUSKY program in Connecticut is for those eligible for Medicaid benefits. If eligible for the HUSKY program, your HUSKY policy effective date would be backdated to the start of the month in which you applied. For example, if you applied for the HUSKY program and were found eligible on 08/20/2023, then your policy effective date would be 08/01/2023.
If you wanted to inquire about if you’re eligible or not for the HUSKY program, please feel free to contact us and we could give you a quote. If you are not eligible for the HUSKY program but are still a low-income household, you may be able to still apply for Access Health CT and receive Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) to help reduce your health insurance premiums. See Access Health CT: More Affordable Health Coverage for some more information on the Access Health CT program and contact us to find out if you’re eligible.
Medicare Enrollment Periods
Who’s Eligible for Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older, people 65 and younger with disabilities, people who get disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, and individuals with ALS or ESRD.
What Are the Medicare Enrollment Periods?
You can find helpful information on all the different Medicare election periods by visiting giving us a call! There are election periods available for those newly turning 65 as well as Special Election Periods for those in various circumstances. Please give us a call and we’ll walk you through the Medicare signup process. If you wanted some more information on Medicare election periods, there’s a helpful resource available at https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/get-more-coverage/joining-a-plan which outlines the election periods.
Medicare plans are highly specialized and we work with thousands of clients to assist them through the Medicare process and finding the most suitable plan for their needs. Feel free to call us at (203) 375-7511 and a licensed Medicare broker from our office will help you find a plan and answer all your Medicare-related questions.
Mandatory Medicare Disclosure for all Medicare Brokers: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent six organizations which offer fourty-four products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all your options.
Your Next Steps
Understanding the election periods is essential to finding the most suitable coverage for you. Here at Vontell Insurance, we’ll work with you and talk with you about which election periods are available to you based on the plan you’re trying to apply for. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation at either (203) 375-7511 or email@example.com and we can talk to you about your specific situation.