Oral & Vision Health Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Open Enrollment

It’s time for Open Enrollment. If you have changed or chosen new healthcare benefits in the past few years, you might know a thing or two about it. But, if you’re buying benefits for the first time, or if you’re just looking to learn a little bit more about dental open enrollment – here is everything you need to know!


For Starters - What is Open Enrollment?

Also known as Annual Enrollment, it is the time where you and your family can buy or change health insurance policies.

The actions you can take during this period include:

  • Adding or removing dependents (children, spouses, and domestic partners)
  • Renewing your current insurance plan
  • Buying a new insurance plan


When is the Open Enrollment Period?

The dates for Open Enrollment are November 1st  – January 15th. It takes place on the government healthcare site, HealthCare.gov, and can also occur directly on the website of dental insurance carriers.


Who does Open Enrollment matter to?

It is for people who work for employers that use the public marketplace, as well as the self-employed and people who are unemployed. Open enrollment is the ONLY time of year you can change and buy health insurance. The exception to this rule is if you qualify for a special enrollment period.


What is a Special Enrollment Period?

Special enrollment periods are times after open enrollment for you to change plans or buy a new plan. You are only eligible for a special enrollment period if you have had a qualifying life event. These are defined as changes in your life that directly affect your coverage eligibility. Some examples of qualifying life events are:

  • Losing eligibility for Medicare
  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through your parent’s plan
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having or adopting a child
  • Changing your residence
  • Gaining U.S citizenship
  • Leaving incarceration


How do you prepare for Open Enrollment?

Even if you are close to the Open Enrollment period, it is always worth taking the time to prepare first. Here are some things you can do to make sure you are ready:

  • Mark the Open Enrollment Period on your calendar: November 1stJanuary 15th!
  • Research Plan Options: If you are planning on buying a new plan or keeping your current plan, make sure to research plans and choose the one that works best for you and your family. Review your current plan, identify what benefits are most important to your family and look at as many plans as you can.
  • Gather Important Information and Documents: All insurance companies are different and require certain information from you. To find out what the insurance carrier needs, you need to contact them directly. However, gathering commonly required information will keep you ahead of the game. Some examples are:
    • Proof of income
    • Home/mailing address
    • Social security numbers of you, your spouse, and any dependents
    • Tax information
    • Employer and income information for all household members
    • Any current healthcare coverage information

Dental Open Enrollment is easy when you’re ready! Just keep the dates (November 1st – January 15th) in mind, prepare and research your plan options. You will have everything you need to succeed.

Bonus: Click here to get your free plan selection guide. It will help you pick the perfect plan for your needs. 

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