I’ve Enrolled in a New Plan—Now What?

Here are a few things you could do while you wait for your coverage to begin on January 1st.

img

Congrats! You've planned ahead, selected a plan that fits your needs, and enrolled in a new health insurance plan during Open Enrollment. Now what?

For most who enroll during Open Enrollment, coverage begins 1/1/21, but there are a few things you could do while you wait.

1. Be on the lookout for new ID cards

If you changed insurance providers, or made changes to your plan elections, a new ID Card is the first tangible proof of your membership with your carrier. You will likely receive your new ID card after all required documents are received and processed. Expect your new card a few weeks after the effective date of your new plan.

2. Set up your user account.

Registering through your carrier's website might be one of the best things you can do. You can do this through your laptop, smartphone or tablet, and this can save you time when looking for specific information about your coverage throughout the year, and can make finding in-network providers a convenient click or tap away. Most carriers have smartphone apps that you can download, so all your information and all the resources you could possibly need (including cost of care for any procedures you may need in the upcoming year) are right in the palm of your hand.

3. Schedule your annual exams

Almost every healthcare plan now covers specific annual preventive care services without imposing cost-sharing requirements—this means no out-of-pocket expenses! You can go to your insurer's website so see what is covered, and you can set your appointments early. A few things you can check off the list? Annual physicals, cancer screenings, dental cleanings, and vision check-ups.

4. Double-check your first payment

Be sure your payment amounts correctly match the total currently enrolled in the plan you (and your family members) selected. If you see any discrepancies, now is the best time to resolve any issues.

5. Consider tracking your health-related expenses

Try to pay attention to how much you spend on health-related expenses over the course of the coming year. This way, you'll be better prepared for next year's open enrollment period, and you can be sure to make an educated choice on any plan changes, like looking into an HSA, which is one of the easiest ways to put money back in your pocket.

6. Get dental or vision coverage

If for any reason you weren't able to get a health plan that includes dental or vision coverage, good news: you can buy dental or vision insurance year round! A stand-alone dental or vision plan is a type of plan offered through the Marketplace that's not included as part of a health plan.

Dental or vision plans that come with health plans generally offer less benefits and limited network than companies that offer dental and vision plans separately. You may opt to get a stand-alone plan if the health coverage you chose doesn't include dental or vision, or if you want different dental or vision coverage.

Shop now for dental coverage

7. Know a friend or family member who missed open enrollment?

There are a few ways they can still get coverage for 2021, even after open enrollment ends: with a Special Enrollment Period, or through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

With a Special Enrollment Period, people can enroll if they experience certain types of life changes, called a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), like losing health coverage, getting married or having a baby. Access the full list of QLEs on the healthcare.gov website.

Another way to get coverage outside the open enrollment period is through Medicaid or CHIP, where they can apply for free or low-cost coverage any time, all year. These programs cover millions of individuals with limited incomes and disabilities—provided they qualify.

If they don't qualify for either criteria, a renewable short-term health plan is their best bet to get coverage for 2021, even after open enrollment ends. It’s a convenient alternative to qualified health plans, so individuals don’t have to be uninsured until the next Open Enrollment Period.

Open Enrollment can be a stressful time of year for many of us. Now that it's over, you can sit back, relax, and count the days until January 1st, when your coverage begins.

Until the next Open Enrollment Period!

Questions? Contact a licensed agent

Talk to us at (855)-563-6993