The newest open enrollment period for purchasing or changing private insurance runs from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015; if you have Medicare, the open enrollment period runs from October 15, 2014 to December 7, 2014. During this time, you have many new options and choices for your insurance and health care. You can sign up for new insurance through Covered California, switch insurance plans, change doctor groups, and/or choose a different primary care physician to receive better health care and work with better, more connected doctors like those who are part of Meritage Medical Network.
These new choices and new opportunities are available primarily because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is more colloquially known as “Obamacare.” One provision of the ACA called for insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, to be set up in each state. These exchanges were meant to be a place where people could easily browse through and compare insurance plans; although there were some technical troubles early on in the open enrollment period last year because of all the new people signing up for insurance, most states and the federal government have had all year to prepare for the new open enrollment period.
Because the laws and regulations pertaining to insurance companies and coverage vary from state to state, each state was given the choice of whether to set up their own insurance marketplace or to let the federal government run their insurance exchange. In California, our state legislature decided to create our own insurance marketplace, and California was the first state to do so. Covered California is the name of the exchange, and you can visit their website to shop for plans and compare coverage today.
During this open enrollment period, you have many new options, some of which involve Covered California. If you are uninsured, you can find out if you qualify for financial assistance as well as browse through and buy an insurance plan through Covered California. If you already have insurance of your own or through your employer, you should still see what’s available through the insurance marketplace. Rates and plans have changed since last year’s open enrollment period; some insurance companies have raised rates while others have dropped them, so you may be able to get better coverage for less! It’s also true that some people with insurance through their employer could benefit from switching to a new insurance plan available through Covered California – it can’t hurt to shop around.
Another important choice to consider during this open enrollment period is which doctor group you want to go to for your health care needs. Now is a good time to talk to your employer and see what options are available to you and to learn more about what Meritage Medical Network has to offer. We are a healthcare network of over 700 private practice physicians in Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties, and we are dedicated to providing you with the absolute best health care available. Visit our website today to discover more about us, find a doctor or specialist near you, and learn how you can join the network.