Gig workers, freelance workers, and contract workers are becoming more and more common, with nearly every company employing some sort of worker in this fashion.
When is open enrollment period 2023?
Open Enrollment is the period each year where people can add or switch health insurance coverage. If you get your insurance from your employer, your open enrollment is generally at year end but not always. If you work for yourself or don't get coverage from your employer, your open enrollment period is now as you're likely buying coverage through a state or federal marketplace.
The Open Enrollment Period for 2023 coverage began on November 1, 2022. People will then have until January 15, 2023, to make an insurance selection through a state or federal marketplace.
However, if individuals want coverage that begins on January 1, 2023, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2022. You may also qualify for a special enrollment period if certain life events occur that result in you losing coverage during 2022 or if you need to add other insureds to your policy (e.g., a spouse or child).
How do individuals enroll for the 2023 period?
They can enroll for the 2023 period through various methods that allow them to select the most convenient option for you. Some of these options include:
— Apply online after creating an account on HealthCare.gov
— Enroll over the phone by calling the Marketplace Call Center
— Submit a paper application via mail
— Apply through a certified enrollment partner’s website
— Work with an agent/broker to help you find an appropriate plan
What’s missing from all of these? Clear access to information.
What documentation do individuals need to enroll?
The application process for open enrollment generally requires submitting personal information concerning the individual, their household, family and finances. HealthCare.gov provides a checklist for people to review that includes needed information and the documents where they can find that information. This includes information such as:
— Names and birthdates of everyone that will be on the insurance
— Mailing address
— Social security number
— Employer and income information
— Household income estimates
What happens if individuals miss the open enrollment period?
Coverage options still exist if individuals miss the open enrollment period for 2023. However, these options may not have any cost-assistance or only apply for a short period of time. They may also be eligible for a special enrollment period if they missed the open enrollment period. Unfortunately, too many do miss open enrollment and end up without coverage.
How can we share information about which health plan is best for individuals?
The process of selecting the best plan depends on a few different factors. When choosing a plan, individuals may want to consider:
— Their budget (i.e., how much can you afford to pay in monthly premiums or deductibles)
— Their medical needs (e.g., dental, vision, prescriptions, physical therapy, etc.)
— The number of dependents
What’s the difference between a PPO and an HDHP, and why is it important for individuals to know?
In general, an HDHP makes sense for those who don’t anticipate a lot of medical costs throughout a year but want coverage in case of an emergency. A PPO, in contrast, might be better for someone with recurring medical needs due to a pre-existing condition.
Why are qualifying events even more important?
An individual transitioning from full-time work to freelance/contract/gig work is able to shift their insurance at this time on a qualifying life event. This situation is common
How do we share information about FSA and an HSA?
It’s important to share benefits around Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) so those who can most benefit can consider them. Gig workers and contract workers can typically utilize the HSA, which will give them similar benefits to what they may be familiar with–an FSA, which is pre-tax dollars you can set aside for health expenses.
Which is better–continuing COBRA or switching to an exchange plan?
Contractors, freelancers and gig workers often find themselves using COBRA after leaving a full-time role. Whether you want to continue COBRA coverage or switch to an exchange plan can depend on your situation, your current insurance, your exchange options, and the relative costs of each plan.
Open enrollment is a good time to make that comparison. One important variable to consider is how long your COBRA lasts–18 months is typical–you'll want to make sure you know as open enrollment is your only window to switch to an exchange plan if your COBRA ends mid-year.