Hourglass and calendar

Now is the time! This is your window of opportunity to enroll in Medicare. For others, it’s time to check on health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. It’s open enrollment season!

Keep reading to find out more about these opportunities.

Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Season

Open enrollment begins: November 1, 2018*
Open enrollment ends: December 15, 2018
Coverage begins: January 1, 2019

Some States Have Different Enrollment Dates

California:
Oct. 15, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2019
Colorado:
Nov. 1, 2018 – Jan. 15, 2019
Connecticut:
Oct. 15, 2018 – Nov. 15, 2018
D. C.:
Nov. 1, 2018 — Jan. 31, 2019
Massachusetts:
Nov. 1, 2018 – Jan. 23, 2019
Minnesota:
Nov. 1, 2018 – Jan. 13, 2019
New York:
Nov. 1, 2018 — Jan. 31, 2019
Rhode Island:
Nov. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018
Washington:
Nov. 1, 2018 — Jan. 16, 2019

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The marketplace is a service that helps people shop for and enroll in affordable health insurance. The federal government operates the Marketplace, available at www.HealthCare.gov, for most states. Some states run their own Marketplaces.

Small businesses can use the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace to provide health insurance for their employees.

When you apply for individual and family coverage through the Marketplace, you’ll provide income and household information. You’ll find out if you qualify for:

  • Premium tax credits and other savings that make insurance more affordable
  • Coverage through the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state.
  • On www.HealthCare.gov, you may be asked to select your state or enter your ZIP code and you will be taken to a website with your state options.

Enrollment is available to individuals who live in the United States and are U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and certain non-citizens. NOTE: If you have not signed up for an insurance plan, you may be subject to a fee for not having health care coverage.

If you don’t act by December 15, you cannot get coverage for 2019 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Certain life events are categorized as special enrollment, such as, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married or divorced, having a baby, or adopting a child.

Important questions to ask when selecting a health plan:

  • Are a broad range of health care providers included in your health plan’s network of providers?
  • What are the monthly premiums and deductible costs?
  • Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?
  • Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered drugs?
  • Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?
  • Does the plan have service limits, such as caps or limits on the number of office visits for therapy services?
  • Are mental health services covered to the same extent that other “physical” health benefits are covered?

I already have health insurance through the Marketplace. Do I need to do something?
It is important to update your income and household information in the Marketplace to make sure you get the assistance that is available. 

  • This is also a good time to check your health insurance coverage and see if it still meets your healthcare needs.
  • You should carefully read all health insurance notices and updates.
  • If your income has increased, updating your information with the Marketplace will help avoid having to pay penalties.

Marketplace Resources

Download PDF: Health Insurance Marketplace_Open Enrollment 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment 2019

Open enrollment begins: October 15, 2018
Open enrollment ends: December 7, 2018
Coverage begins: January 1, 2019

Am I eligible for Medicare benefits?
Turning 65 is one way you become eligible for Medicare. You can also be under 65 and eligible for Medicare because you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, or if you have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant (End-State Renal Disease). In most cases, you qualify for Medicare due to a disability if you have been receiving SSDI checks for more than 24 months.

What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?
Medicare health and pharmaceutical plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies there are in your networks. October 15 to December 7 is when everyone who has Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.

How do you know if you need to change plans?
You should always review the materials your plans send you, like the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If your plans are changing, make sure your plans still meet your health and pharmaceutical needs for the following year. If you’re satisfied that your current plans meet your needs for the coming year, you don’t need to do anything.
Important questions to ask when reviewing your plans:

  • Are a broad range of health care providers included in your health plan’s network of providers?
  • What are the monthly premiums and deductible costs?
  • Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your needs?
  • Are needed medications included in the plan’s list of covered drugs?
  • Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?
  • Does the plan have service limits, such as caps or limits on the number of office visits for therapy services?
  • Are mental health services covered to the same extent that other “physical” health benefits are covered?

Where can you find Medicare plan information or compare plans?
1-800-MEDICARE or Medicare.gov.

Medicare Resources
Who is eligible for Medicare?
Outreach and Education Materials

Download PDF: Medicare Open Enrollment_2018