Open enrollment, the period of time established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), determines when your clients can enroll or re-enroll in a health insurance plan through the federal health insurance marketplace and be guaranteed coverage. To help your clients the following types of insurance require applications to be submitted by the provided open enrollment deadlines:
- Medicare: October 15 - December 7 every year
- Individual plans administered by the ACA: November 1 - December 15, 2018 for coverage beginning January 1, 2019.
It’s vital that you encourage your clients to enroll well within their open enrollment deadlines since insurance companies cannot underwrite applications during open enrollment. Help your clients enroll with ease by:
- Being available via your email address or mobile phone to address clients’ questions
- Sending personalized email reminders
- Periodically posting deadline reminders and useful tips on social media
- Keeping their files and contact information up-to-date
Remind your clients to be prepared with their important documents and information.
Proof of Income
Part of the goal of the Affordable Care Act was to make health insurance coverage more accessible, regardless of income. The ACA addresses healthcare affordability by administering subsidies depending on each applicant's household income. A family of 4 can earn over $100,000 and still receive a subsidy! If your clients qualify for subsidized healthcare, they’ll need to provide records of their current or expected income for the upcoming coverage year with:
- Paycheck stubs
- A signed letter from their employer(s)
- State or federal income tax returns
Additional questions and information you could be asked to provide:
- Household details: Whether they’re married or not, their spouse’s income, and whether or not they have children or other dependants.
- Social Security Numbers (SSN) for your clients and everyone in their household who will be applying for insurance.
- If applicable, they may need to provide documents about their immigration status.
What if I have clients who miss open enrollment?
Do they qualify for a special enrollment period?
If you have clients who have recently experienced a qualifying life event, they could be eligible for special enrollment:
- Changed jobs and/or COBRA coverage expired
- Moved to a new coverage area
- Changed marital status
- Aged out of their parents’ coverage
- Recently had a baby
If your clients don’t qualify for a special enrollment period…
While major medical coverage is usually more affordable and more comprehensive than short-term insurance, you should be prepared to offer your clients flexible short-term medical plans to keep them covered until they’re eligible to enroll in a major medical insurance.
Familiarize yourself with a variety of products and be prepared to offer a variety of products.
Your clients look to you to help you match healthcare coverage with their unique lifestyle needs and budget needs. The greater your product selection, the greater success you’ll experience as an agent and the better you’ll be able to take care of your customers.
To diversify your product offerings and gear up for open enrollment, get contracted with Savers Marketing today.