You have a busy life and, like the rest of us, you probably put off many tasks until the last minute. Maybe you have a calendar to try to stay organized and make sure everything gets done on time, but some things fall through the cracks. Don’t let health insurance be one of those things.
Health Insurance exchanges are flooded with consumers trying to do the same thing as you: enroll. The passing of the Affordable Care Act has added an immense increase of people registering for their health insurance needs and the health insurance carriers work on a first come, first served basis. All of this means that if you push your registration until the last possible minute, you’ll have to wait a lot longer for your certificate of coverage and ID cards.
Another reason waiting until the last minute to apply is not a good idea is that you are not allowing yourself a reasonable amount of time to compare carrier and plan choices. With so many options on the market, it is important to consider your personal needs including medications, planned surgeries and changes to your family status or you may end up having to pay more out-of-pocket than you would have with other plan or carrier choice. Also, it is extremely important to give yourself enough time to ensure that your preferred healthcare provider and hospital are covered in the plan you choose.
When filling out a health insurance application, many people forget to include pertinent information like social security numbers, dates of birth and first month’s premium payment. If you wait until the last day, this does not allow time for you to correct these errors before the deadline and in many cases, your application could be rejected. This means you could potentially not get your preferred effective date or in some cases no insurance at all.
Dates to Keep in Mind
There are two important dates coming up for registration for the 2017 year. We suggest that you enroll at least five days prior to the deadline.
- November 1, 2016. This is the date that you can start applying for January 1, 2017, coverage.
- December 15, 2016. The last date to apply for coverage that starts on January 1, 2017.
- January 15, 2017. This is the last day to enroll or change your coverage for health plans starting on February 1, 2017.
- January 31, 2017. This is when open enrollment ends for the 2017 year. If you haven’t enrolled in a new plan by this date, you may be stuck with your current coverage for the remainder of the year. There may be some exceptions for those who qualify for a special enrollment period due to unforeseen life situations.
Private Exchange for Convenience and Coverage
If you are eligible to use a private exchange, such as Member Benefits, the process can be much simpler and there is ample help in choosing the right plan to suit your family’s needs. Here are 5 great reasons a private exchange offers better benefits to their members:
- One Stop Research and Purchase. All of the information you need to choose the right policy and the ability to purchase your coverage is located in the same convenient place.
- “Best Fit” Helps You Save Money. Using the Member Benefits exchange offers you the option of using the Best Fit search engine to choose the right option for the lowest cost.
- Benefits Counselors. Our licensed Benefits Counselors are available to help you choose the right policy for your needs and help explain all of the particulars available in the coverage you purchase.
- Concierge Advocacy. Going through the exchange means that you’ll have a concierge available to help you negotiate with your insurance in the event there is any dispute over coverage.
Still Need to Sign Up For Your 2017 Policy?
If you haven’t registered for your 2017 policy, do so through Member Benefits, the Recommended Broker of the State Bar of Georgia. We can help you find the best policy and get enrolled with no hassle, before the deadline.