If you are reading this, you probably know that November 15, 2014 is the first day of Open Enrollment for 2015 health insurance plans. You probably also know Open Enrollment runs through February 15, 2015.
However, what you may not realize is the importance of another date — December 15, 2014.
That date is important because it is the last day you can enroll in coverage with an effective date of January 1, 2015.
How the Dates Work
The effective date of any coverage purchased during 2015 Open Enrollment depends upon the date you submit an enrollment application as follows:
|If you enroll in coverage …||Your coverage will begin …|
|November 15, 2014 – December 15, 2014||January 1, 2015|
|December 16, 2014 – January 15, 2015||February 1, 2015|
|January 16, 2015 – February 15, 2015||March 1, 2015|
Dec 15 is Last Day to Avoid a Gap in Coverage
Since the plan year for all plans sold in the individual market (vs. job-sponsored group coverage) runs from January 1 – December 31, coverage on all 2014 plans ends on December 31.
Taking a close look at the chart above, this means if you are currently insured, you must enroll in 2015 coverage no later than December 15, 2014 to avoid a gap in coverage.
Explore All Options
Essentially, that gives you one month — from November 15 through December 15 — to enroll in coverage effective January 1, 2015.
And since a plan’s benefits, networks, costs, etc. can change from year to year, we can’t stress enough the importance of carefully considering all of your options for 2015 coverage. Most carriers will offer automatic renewal in your current plan, but that will not always be your best option.
Are we concerned about this tight timeframe? Maybe just a little bit!
But that’s why we have been urging our customers to get started early. Give some thought to your health care needs, your doctors and other providers, the medications you take, your budget, etc., so when Open Enrollment does begin, you are ready to go!
You can reach us by phone at 1-800-867-0800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.
Please be patient as we are experiencing a high volume of calls and emails.