No, it is not hunting season, but if you are a federal employee, it is time to make changes in your health insurance and benefits. The dates for your season are November 14 to December 12.
If you are an individual, it is time to enroll or change your health insurance. As of the writing of this article, if you have an individual plan from Anthem in most cases you will not be able to keep it. Anthem has decided to only offer health insurance in counties and cities that are not covered by any other carrier. The cities and counties that Anthem will be covering are:
- Bristol City
- Buena Vista City
- Covington City
- Emporia City
- Franklin City
- King and Queen
- King William
- New Kent
- Radford City
- Richmond County
- Roanoke County
- Roanoke City
- Salem City
- Winchester City
So this means that if you do not reside in one of these municipalities and have an Anthem individual plan, you will need to make another selection. Your dates for open enrollment are November 1 to December 15.
If you are a senior and are enrolled in Medicare, this is your Annual Election Period (AEP). You can change to your Medicare Part D and change or enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). The AEP period started October 15 and ends December 7.
The only exceptions to these rules are if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). The exceptions are given for moving out of the carrier’s coverage area, marriage, death, births, etc.
No, your doctor prescribing surgery does not qualify for a SEP. You must have coverage before this event or you are out of luck. It is important that you do not procrastinate; take a few minutes to determine if you are adequately covered.
If you are a small business owner and have resisted offering health insurance to your employees, this is a good time to reconsider. You have a once-a-year opportunity to open a group without meeting participation levels. The dates are November 15 to December 15. All documents must be in perfect order at the carrier by December 15.
Deborah Wells is a benefit specialist with Benefit Solutions and can be reached at 757-848-5872 or 757-870-7221 (cell) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is www.benifitsolution.com.