October is when the open enrollment period kicks off. This is the time where people are eligible to either renew their current plans or enroll in other health care options. It’s also a time when new applicants are eligible to get coverage. This is an opportunity for participants in the Covered California exchange to modify their current health plan options or elect a different carrier. If you are unhappy with your plan, now is the time to think about what you want to change it to.
What does this mean for Covered California?
- Navigators on the California exchange will be responsible for educating consumers about the open enrollment period and help them get coverage.
- More importance is also placed on the navigators to help retain the current participants enrolled in a Covered California policy.
- If consumers aren’t enrolled in a policy, they could face penalties so get prepared ($95/adult and $47.50/child).
- Covered California is also working on improving call centers and their website chat since they were inundated last year. This caused frustrations for applicants who were waiting for hours to get assistance and complete applications.
Are there any changes to expect in this open enrollment period?
- The period to register for a health care policy under Covered California will be three months shorter than last year.
- Anyone enrolled in a current Covered California plan who does not make a change to their policy by December 15th will be automatically re-enrolled for 2015.
Advice before entering this open enrollment period:
- Evaluate your current health policy. Are you happy with it or is there something you would like to change?
- Get educated. If you are thinking of modifying your health plan or look into alternative options, do some research. Navigators are also there to help you find the plan that fits your needs.
- Be prepared. If you want to change your plan, do so before December 15th. If you want a certain expense covered, find out which policies will help you get the best coverage for that need.
If you have any questions regarding a health policy, please feel free to contact our office. We’d be happy to help.