Open Enrollment for Individuals

Autumn is the season of pumpkins, hayrides, and apple pies. For millions of Americans seeking healthcare coverage, it also marks the beginning of the open enrollment season. As this time of year approaches, it’s important to review information about open enrollment for individuals. 

Open enrollment is the period each year when you’re allowed to begin, cancel, or make changes to your health insurance plan. This year the open enrollment period spans from Sunday, November 1 to Tuesday, December 15, 2020. If you need coverage, this is the only time of year that it can be attained without a qualifying event, outside of the standard open enrollment period, you can only enroll in a health insurance plan if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Certain life events, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage qualify for this 60-day window around the qualifying event. 

Under New Jersey state law, all residents must have health insurance. Failure to have health coverage or qualify for an exemption will result in a penalty charge. 

New Jersey created this mandate after Congress repealed the penalties of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, ending the federal requirement that all individuals have health insurance. 

If you do not receive health care coverage from an employer, you’ll still need a health plan. For many people, this means they must buy individual health insurance. Luckily, you can still comply with this mandate by buying a policy from an insurance company.  

Unlike employer-provided insurance, individual enrollment requires shopping for a plan that covers you and your family, purchasing a plan, making all monthly premium payments, and managing all of your health coverage and benefits. 

Before you shop for health coverage, find out if you qualify for financial assistance to lower your out of pocket costs. Learn which plans cover your doctors and compare prices. Begin browsing health plans early to ensure an educated and affordable decision. 

When the time comes your Marketplace application will ask you a variety of questions. Information you should have readily available includes: 

  • Basic information such as your name and DOB
  • Home and mailing address
  • Basic information regarding the people included in your plan
  • Social Security numbers of people included in the plan
  • Information regarding the professional helping you apply (if applicable)
  • Immigration documentation (if applicable)
  • Information on how you’ll file taxes
  • Employer and income information
  • The best estimate of household income
  • Health coverage information

Being prepared for this process will make enrollment quicker and easier! Call Benchmark Planning Group to discuss the questions and answers to these important topics so you can get started on your open enrollment today and learn more about your health coverage offerings.