BenefitsThought Leadership

What is Open Enrollment?

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Guest Blog Provided by One Medical, authored By Riley Steinmetz

Whether you get insurance through work, Medicare, or the individual market, open enrollment is the one period of time each year when you can change your health insurance coverage without a qualifying event. With only one shot at picking your plan for the year, we wanted to share some info to help you navigate the often confusing world of health insurance.

Why you might want to change your plan

There are several reasons you might want to explore your options for the New Year. Here are a few big ones:

  • Your plan choices changed. Maybe your company introduced a new high-deductible health plan or there are different options on the health insurance exchange where you live.
  • You’re concerned about the costs or coverage of your current plan. Depending on your needs, you may want to examine whether you want a plan with higher premiums that covers more or a plan with lower premiums that has higher costs when you need care.
  • Your healthcare needs are changing. Planning to start a family or have another kid? You may want to explore if a different plan might offer better coverage for childbirth or adoption-related medical expenses. Or maybe you’ve been diagnosed with something that will require more care. It’s good to explore what’s covered by each plan and understand the costs you might expect.
  • Even if you’re happy with your current health insurance plan, it never hurts to take advantage of open enrollment as a time to learn more about your coverage options.

When is open enrollment?

Timing varies for every plan. If you get your health insurance through your employer, expect to hear from them with the specifics. Often, employers offer a two-week open enrollment period sometime between October and December. If you get your health insurance through the federal health insurance exchange (Healthcare.gov), open enrollment for 2022 begins November 1, 2021, and lasts until December 15, 2021.


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