It’s that time of the year again-open enrollment. Open enrollment is the yearly period in which you sign up for your health insurance for the upcoming year. If you forget to select a plan, outside of a major qualifying life event, you can’t sign up again until the next open enrollment period. So what do you need to know to get covered for 2022? Let’s take a look.
How and When to Enroll
In New York, the state open enrollment period runs from November 16, 2021, to January 31, 2022. That means you have until January 31, 2022, to select your plan for the upcoming year. If you miss the deadline, you may still qualify for a special enrollment period. Special enrollment periods apply only if you experienced a qualifying life event, like marriage or divorce, changes in employment, or moving to a different county.
Starting November 16, New Yorkers can sign up for a plan through one of three ways.
- Eligible New Yorkers may enroll in a plan through Medicare or Medicaid.
Those 65 and older or with low income may be eligible for coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or both. To see if you qualify, call your State Medical Assistance office or 1-800-MEDICARE.
- Enrollment through employer-sponsored plans.
If your employer offers health insurance coverage, simply select your plan with your human resources representative. Depending on your employer, you may be auto-enrolled or unenrolled if you fail to select a plan, so communication is key!
- Independent enrollment through the healthcare.gov marketplace.
If you decline coverage through your employer and are ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid, you can select your own coverage plan online or by phone. Take a look at the different ways to enroll in a 2022 Marketplace plan here.
What to Consider
Now that you know how and when to sign up for coverage, you just need to pick a plan. Remember, outside of special enrollment periods or qualifying life events, the plan you select is your plan for the year. So what kinds of things should you consider before signing up?
First, and arguably most importantly on everyone’s mind, is to choose a plan that works for you financially. Most plans are tiered from bronze to platinum, but importantly, these categories have nothing to do with the quality of care but instead refer to how costs are shared. The important costs to remember are your monthly premium, your co-pay, and the deductible. You still get billed your premium even when you don’t visit the doctor that month. Your out-of-pocket costs are your co-pay until you hit your deductible, at which point your plan pays for your coverage.
Next, if you have a preferred medical provider, check to make sure he or she is included in the network of the plan you select. Some plans will let you choose your doctor and even keep your out-of-network doctor at the same level of co-pays as an in-network doctor. Others may limit your choices or charge more for going out-of-network. If you want to keep your favorite doctor without paying more, make sure your plan allows you to do so.
Get Covered For 2022!
Be sure to review your options and select a plan by January 31, 2022, to ensure you and your family have health care coverage for the upcoming year. Remember, the plan you had last year might not be the best plan for you this year, so be sure to review all available plans and choose the best one for your unique circumstances.
If you have questions, there are a number of tools and resources available. Check out the healthcare.gov website, online reviews of health coverage plans and providers, cost calculators, and more! Don’t miss out-get covered for 2022!