OEP provides consumers the ability to shop for new plans and enroll for coverage. This is the only time consumers can purchase a qualified, guaranteed issue, Major Medical Health Plan, without a qualifying event
BEDFORD PARK, Ill. (PRWEB) October 31, 2018
Bob Dial, Chief Compliance Officer, Preferred Health Insurance Solutions (PHIS), explained, “This year the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) period runs from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, December 15, 2018. In most states OEP will end before the 2019 plans take effect, so enrollees won't have a chance to change their minds about their coverage once the 2019 calendar year begins.”
With the OEP kicking off Nov. 1st, Dial provides the following tips to assist consumers purchasing their 2019 health plan.
Tip 1: Enroll early - OEP begins on Thursday, November 1st and ends on Saturday, December 15th
“The OEP is shortened so it is important that consumers not delay selecting their plan and enrolling for coverage.” added Dial.
With the federal funding being reduced for advertising, consumers may not be as readily aware of the condensed time period they have to get enrolled for coverage. Dial further explained that funding for Navigators has also been reduced. There will be fewer resources available to assist consumers with shopping for a plan, calculating their subsidies and enrolling them for coverage for their 2019 health plan. In fact, no federal funded Navigators will be available in the states of Montana, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Tip 2: Gather important documents prior to enrolling
Before beginning the open enrollment process it is important to gather all of the necessary documents. For example, information about everyone applying for coverage, such as social security numbers and birth dates. Employer and income information for every member of their household, such as pay stubs or W-2 forms, will also be needed. The insured is required to provide a best estimate of what their household income will be in 2019. Additionally, policy numbers for any current health plans covering members of their household would be helpful. For a complete Marketplace application checklist visit https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf. Consumers can call the PHIS Call Center at 800-342-0631 for assistance.
Tip 3: Take time to become educated on OEP rules and other 2019 enrollment changes
Dial shared two important OEP rules that will affect consumers applying for coverage:
a. If a consumer has an outstanding premium balance from their 2018 health plan, the carrier may refuse them new coverage, until that premium is paid. The Marketplace can assist consumers that do not have health insurance through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage.
c. If a consumer has not yet filed their 2017 Federal Tax Return, the consumer may not be eligible for any premium subsidies.
Dial explained, “Purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace is a complicated process. There are a number of factors, government rules, and provisions to take into account before purchasing health insurance. OEP provides consumers the ability to shop for new plans and enroll for coverage. This is the only time consumers can purchase a qualified, guaranteed issue, Major Medical Health Plan, without a qualifying event.”
“This year more than ever, it will be important for consumers to work with a knowledgeable, licensed and certified insurance professional. They will work to understand the consumer’s individual health needs, ensure they are in a plan and with a network that meets their provider needs. The insurance professional can calculate the cost of their insurance, including obtaining any premium subsidies available for the consumer, which will help offset the cost of their annual premium,” Dial remarked.
Tip 4.Consider all of your health insurance options before enrolling
If an insured misses the OEP deadline, they still have the option to apply for Short Term Major Medical coverage. Taking out a Short Term Major Medical plan and adding a dental, vision or accident policy can provide the coverage necessary to protect them from the high cost of healthcare.
The insurance professionals at PHIS are prepared to assist consumers with all their enrollment needs. The dedicated PHIS Call Center consists of a team of multi-lingual, health insurance professionals, that are trained to walk a client through the entire process of selecting a healthcare plan and enrolling them for their coverage, as well as responding to any questions they may have regarding their new health insurance policy. The PHIS Call Center will be available to assist consumers enrolling for their 2019 health plan. Consumers can call the PHIS Call Center at 800-342-0631 or access the company’s website at http://www.PHISonline.com.
About Preferred Health Insurance Solutions:
Headquartered in Bedford Park, Illinois, Preferred Health Insurance Solutions (PHIS) is a national enrollment firm specializing in the Health Insurance Marketplace as well as a variety of other ancillary health insurance products, including Dental, Critical Illness, Short Term Medical, and others. PHIS, formerly known as ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions (ACAEnroll.com) provides enrollments services throughout the country, through national and regional insurance carriers. Effective November 1, 2018, the health insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment. The PHIS Call Center will be available to assist consumers enrolling for their 2019 health plan. Consumers can call the PHIS Call Center at 800-342-0631 or access the company’s website at http://www.PHISonline.com.