4 Things You Should Know During Open Enrollment

iQuanti: Open Enrollment is a specific set of dates each year where you can freely make changes to benefits without a qualifying life event, like the birth of a child or loss of other coverage. Since the span of Open Enrollment is limited, it’s important to plan ahead and know what benefit changes you intend to make. In preparation for your upcoming Open Enrollment window, here are four things you should know. 
1: The Available Open Enrollment Dates 
Open Enrollment dates will vary based on the type of plan you use. For example, coverage through Medicare or the Affordable Care Act may have different dates than private plans offered by employers. And once the dates close, you’re effectively cut off from making changes unless you have a qualifying life event. It pays to double-check with your employer or insurance provider to confirm open enrollment dates so you don’t miss them. 
2: If Your Plan Will Automatically Roll Over Elections 
Certain employers will automatically roll over current benefit selections or their nearest match for the new plan year. But others require you to log in to an online portal or call your benefits provider to re-enroll each year. That’s why it’s critical to figure out if benefits will roll over or not so you can take action as needed and don’t risk missing out on coverage. 
3: What You Can Change During Open Enrollment 
As the name suggests, the Open Enrollment period is relatively open as far as the changes you can make. You can choose to: 
Given the amount of changes you can make, you’ll need to do some research to compare options. If your spouse also works, you’ll want to check their Open Enrollment offerings as well since switching to another plan could end up saving you money. 
Any New Benefit Offerings 
Prior to the open enrollment window, you may be provided with information about upcoming plan changes. That may mean the introduction of a new medical plan or a supplemental insurance option like pet insurance. It’s important to review your options ahead of time to enable you to make the most informed decision when it comes time to actually process your elections.  
That means you’ll want to look at how much plans cost, coverage areas for certain medical plans, and the benefits of any new benefit offerings. Failure to do so may mean you’ll stay in the same benefits even though there are better and more affordable options available. 
The Bottom Line 
Open Enrollment is designed to give enrollees an option to freely change their medical benefits, life insurance, and more. Be sure to double-check the dates enrollment is open, whether or not you need to make elections to keep the same benefits, what changes you can make, and any new benefit offerings available. Doing research in advance can help you be prepared and make the right choice for your situation this year. 
Source: iQuanti, Inc.