Open enrollment is a specified period of time during which people can change insurance plans and medical groups or that uninsured individuals can use to purchase new insurance plans through the healthcare exchanges that have been set up as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”).
Open enrollment is just one part of the much, much larger Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was signed into law back in 2010.
Even if you have health insurance, open enrollment is a good time to shop around and see if anything better is out there. Most plans have changed their pricing, so what was right for you last year might not be what makes the most financial sense this year.
Open Enrollment for Covered California begins on November 1, 2021 and continues until January 31, 2022.
Depending on your current situation, you have the following options:
Buy a plan through Covered California. You may want to buy a plan through the marketplace if you qualify for a tax credit to help offset your premiums. Qualifying usually depends on your income and household size. Your total household income must be between 128% and 400% of the federal poverty level, or FPL.
Renew or change your current plan. During the open enrollment period, you can renew your existing plan. You won’t have to do anything if you want to keep what you have. But if your current plan is changing — for instance, your primary care physician is leaving the network, or your drugs aren’t in the list of covered medications — then you may want to switch to a plan that best suits your current needs. If you need to change policies, the open enrollment period is the best time.
Enroll in Medi-Cal. If your income is below 128% of the Federal Poverty Level, you qualify for Medi-Cal, which is Medicaid for Californians.
Enroll in Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage is a Medicare-approved health plan from a private company that offers an alternative to Original Medicare for your health and drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than original Medicare, and may offer extra benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans and the Medicare Prescription Drug Program runs from October 15 through December 7, 2022.
No matter what your insurance status is right now, remember to look for plans that include Meritage Medical Network. When you choose a Medicare Advantage plan with Meritage Medical Network your benefits will include:
- A yearly limit on out-of-pocket spending for covered services
- Behavioral health care management
- Nurse care management
- Care coordination that helps you access resources such as transportation, meals, and DME services
Meritage Medical Network is a healthcare network representing our local physician members who provide health care and administer benefits for HMO members in Marin, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Fresno, and Madera Counties. Our expert medical and administrative staff are dedicated to ensuring that you receive the highest quality health care available.