Open Enrollment…What?

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Pill and Money

Every year I have the opportunity and pleasure to re-certify for Medicare with each of our Insurance Companies servicing Medicare. For most seniors, this is time to scramble and find the best plan for their current situation and needs.  The governing body responsible for this oversight is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesCMS also determines the Open Enrollment dates for Medicare Advantage plans and now, Affordable Care Act plans…enter Healthcare Reform.   CMS’ open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans this year will be October 15, 2014 thru December 7, 2014.

Most group insurance plans also have an open enrollment period-the time of the year to look over your health plan, and possibly, change that plan.  CMS has adopted this Open Enrollment Period model and is giving this opportunity for any individual who wants a health plan.  In fact, CMS is the governing body of Healthcare Reform and the Affordable Care Act and oversees the subsidy/enrollment program.

To clarify, Open Enrollment, for whatever plan you may be on, is the time of year for you to consider/reconsider your current plan and decide if you want to change or keep that plan.

Unfortunately, an unforeseen circumstance of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment, is the underestimation of the amount of people that may be affected by the Effective Date of their 2014 policy.  In other words, if you are coming off of a group policy on March 6, 2014, you cannot get a health plan with an effective date of March 7, 2014; You will have to get a Short Term Medical Policy(terms do not run concurrent).  Your Short Term Medical Policy may have to overlap your new plan-in other words, you will have “double coverage”.

Please be aware the proposed Open Enrollment dates for this years Health Care Reform plans will be from November 15-January 15.  This will be the only time, outside of Marriage, Adoption or Birth that you may get an ACA qualified plan.

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Author: Tim Spencer

Bearden High School Graduate, father of 4 children, football coach, local musical celebrity AKA Soul Brother #2, self-proclaimed master chef, keeper of The Healthcare Grail, writes property and casualty – prefers no casualties.

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