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ARE YOU READY FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT?

As the weather begins to change and we anticipate cooler temperatures, it is a reminder that Open Enrollment is just around the corner. There are two windows of enrollment depending on your age and status.

This month you should receive correspondence from your health provider or prescription drug plan about plan specific changes beginning January 1, 2021.

WHAT IS THE WINDOW FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT?

  • MEDICARE Annual Enrollment is October 15 — December 7. If you are happy with your current plan, you do not need to take any action. Your plan will automatically renew for 2021.
  • If you have private health insurance (insurance not provided by an employer), November 1 — December 15 is the window for all NON-MEDICARE individuals under age 65.

WHAT ACTION IS NEEDED NOW TO PREPARE FOR 2021?

If you have Medicare coverage, this is the window for 2021 if you need to make a change, review, or enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan 

  • If you want a review of your current plan to identify the lowest premiums and copays available, contact your health advisor. Your advisor will need an update of current prescriptions and pharmacy choices, or you can ask your pharmacist to fax your medication list to your health advisor.
  • If you have a Medicare Supplement, your window to change is 30-days surrounding the EFFECTIVE DATE of your plan. If you’re considering dropping your Medicare Supplement to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, this is the one time of year to do so. This change in coverage may include network restrictions (using a specific provider list), emergency coverage only outside your county, and copays for all procedures, visits and prescriptions.

For Non-Medicare individuals, this is your only opportunity to enroll or change a health insurance policy which takes effect January 1, 2021. If you are enrolled via the Marketplace, or, healthcare.gov, and receive a tax credit to reduce your monthly cost, be sure to update your healthcare advisor with the information listed below.

  • Review your yearly household income to verify you’re on target to earn what you estimated during the 2020 Enrollment Period. If your income has increased or decreased, especially substantially, it will change the eligibility for tax credit and impact your insurance premium.
  • If you have become eligible for health insurance through your employer, you will no longer be eligible to receive a tax credit from the Marketplace.
  • Are there any other “life changes” to report, such as the birth of a child, adoption, marriage, job change, or change in address?
  • Avoid the wait on the Healthcare Marketplace by calling your healthcare advisor who can quickly make adjustments or changes on your behalf. This easy call assures there is no miscommunication or duplication in updating your account.

Reaching out to your health advisor during Open Enrollment can potentially lower your healthcare costs if lower-priced options are available. A trusted health advisor reviews your plan and advises on the lowest premium and copay options. The advisors work for you and not the insurance companies, and there is no consultation fee or obligation to speak with a health advisor.

Insurance Group of the Ozarks continues to follow all CDC guidelines to protect your health and that of our employees. For your convenience, all information and updates can be made via email or phone appointments. If you do not prefer email, please call the Insurance Group of the Ozarks office at 417-725-1131.

Leah Callahan

Leah Callahan

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