February 28, 2014

Open Enrollment Period

What is Open Enrollment and how does it affect you?
Open Enrollment is a specific period of time you can sign up for, or make changes to Qualified Health Plans. For 2014, the Open Enrollment Period is from October 1, 2013 thru March 31, 2014.

When does Open Enrollment end?
The last day to apply for a Qualified Health Plan is March 31, 2014.

Can I apply for a Qualified Health Plan OFF the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) after Open Enrollment ends?
No. The Open Enrollment Period applies to both ON and OFF FFM enrollment.

What if I lose my Group health plan outside of the Open Enrollment period. Can I enroll in a Qualified Health Plan?
Yes. There are certain Qualifying Events that will trigger a Special Election Period for Individuals/Families to apply for a Qualified Health Plan.
** To date, the carriers have yet to provide what type of documentation is needed to submit with an application to prove the Qualifying Event. More details to come once we have this information.

Do I have to buy from the FFM?
No. The FFM is just one of the ways people can shop for health coverage. However, you can only get financial help from the Government if you buy coverage through the FFM.

Who has to buy health insurance?
Most people are required to have a basic level of health insurance as of January 1, 2014. Some people (Exempt Individuals) don’t have to buy insurance, based on their income or other status.

What if I don’t buy health care coverage in 2014?
If you are required to have coverage, you will be charged a tax penalty by the Government if you go without insurance for 3 consecutive months or longer. (This tax penalty will be applied once you submit your 2014 Tax Return.) You will not be charged the tax penalty if you are uninsured for less than 3 consecutive months.

What are the next available effective dates for the remaining Open Enrollment period?
For Aetna, Assurant, BCBSAZ, Health Net and Humana – The application must be received at the carrier by March 15, 2014 to be eligible for an April 1, 2014 effective date. Applications received from March 16, 2014 thru March 31, 2014 will be eligible for a May 1, 2014 effective date.
** Assurant is also offering 15th of the month effective dates. So any application received by February 28, 2014 will have the option of a March 15, 2014 effective date and any application received by March 31, 2014 will have the option of an April 15, 2014 effective date. (This is for Arizona business.)

Can I change my plan or network after Open Enrollment Period?
No. No changes can be made outside of Open Enrollment unless you have a Qualifying Event.

When is Open Enrollment for 2015 plans?
The proposed Open Enrollment period is from November 15, 2014 to January 15, 2015.