Nothing is more important than your health. Money cannot buy it, but insurance can go a long way toward protecting it. If you have quality health insurance, you can have peace knowing that your medical expenses will be covered should you face an unexpected illness or injury. Best of all, federal laws prevent discrimination against your health or gender. That means you can no longer be turned down or forced to pay more money due to a pre-existing condition.
Enrolling in a qualified health plan is not only important, it is the law. Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone in Wisconsin must have health coverage. If you are not covered through work, Medicare or Medicaid programs, you must purchase an individual health plan instead. At Gutman Insurance, we help you select a qualified health plan that fits your needs and budget.
2016 – 2017 Annual Election Period
The Annual Election Period for health insurance enrollment this year opens on November 1, 2016 and closes on January 31, 2017. This should not be confused with the Medicare Open Period of October 15 to December 7. During this time those that are uninsured and not on Medicare, can apply for new health insurance coverage and currently insured subscribers can make changes to theirs.
As a reminder, you have to enroll by December 15, 2016 in order to have a January 1, 2017 effective date. Enrollments taking place December 15th will result in an effective date of 2 months from the date of enrollment.
Wisconsin residents are privileged to have several health insurers and plans to choose from. All plans offer certain core benefits, such as coverage for preventive care, but other details, such as deductibles and coinsurance, vary between providers. We can help you sift through the features of each plan and explain the fine print. We can also help you determine if you qualify for a special enrollment after the annual open enrollment period has closed.
The best time to buy a Medigap (Medicare supplement) policy is during your 6-month open enrollment period, because you can buy any policy sold in Wisconsin, even if you have health problems. This period automatically starts the month you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). After this enrollment period, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy due to health reasons. If you’re able to buy one, it may cost more.
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period happens annually from October 15 to December 7. The Open Enrollment Period is also known as the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), or the Annual Election Period.
Fall Open Enrollment is the time of year when you can change your Medicare coverage. You can do this by joining a new Medicare Advantage Plan or by joining a new stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP). You can also switch to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone Part D plan from a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time.