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Dates to Remember

As October welcomes cooler climates and the changing of leaves, families begin the countdown to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. These dates are protected on the calendar as special times with family and friends.

When planning for the holidays, there are some other important dates to remember that will have an impact throughout 2020. For families and individuals under 65, your company’s annual open enrollment is happening and decisions are being made about next year’s health insurance and coverage. In preparation for Open Enrollment (Nov. 1 – Dec. 15), individuals with Marketplace coverage need to reach out to their health advisor and provide any updates that will impact 2020 coverage.

AMBETTER reminders:

  • If your Ambetter policy is active with a current paid status and you have NO change in household dependents, address or 2020 income, then your policy will automatically renew with no action needed on your part! 
  • As an individual shopper of insurance, as of Oct. 1, 2019, there are NO qualified* health plans in our area for 2020 other than Ambetter. *(A plan that meets Affordable Care Act standards, guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions, and includes drug coverage and preventative services.)

If you are enrolled via the Marketplace, or,, 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 date to verify you’re on target to earn what you estimated during the 2019 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?

If your income for 2020 will EXCEED the eligibility for tax credits (discounts) from the Federal Government to reduce your health insurance premiums, you will need to explore “non-traditional” options such as a short-term “catastrophic” plan or Medi-share (a Christian sharing program). These options do NOT cover prescriptions, preventive services or pre-existing conditions.

If you have Medicare coverage, Medicare Annual Enrollmentis Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. This is the window to enroll or make changes to your health or prescription drug plan for 2020. 

If you have not already contacted your health advisor to update your current prescriptions, this is the time to provide this information. Your pharmacist can also fax your medication list to your health advisor.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is only relevant to those who need to make a change, review or enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If this is your first year to enroll, check out this blog to see if you qualify.

If you have a Medicare Supplement, your window to change is 30-days surrounding the effective date of your plan. If you are considering dropping your Medicare Supplement to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, this is the one time of the year to do so. This type of change to your coverage may include network restrictions (using a specific provider list), emergency coverage only outside your county, and copays are necessary for all procedures, visits and prescriptions.

Reaching out to your health advisor can potentially lower your healthcare costs if lower-priced options are available. A trusted health advisor will review your plan and advise regarding the lowest premium and copay options.

If you have questions, contact Leah Callahan at (417) 725-1013 or one of the trusted agents at Insurance Group of the Ozarks online.

Leah Callahan

Leah Callahan


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