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Insurance for North Carolina State Firefighter Association

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Before 2014, individual health insurance is available to buy at any time of the year and only relatively healthy applicants were eligible in most states. Since then, medical history is no longer taken into account when determining eligibility or the premium paid for by an applicant. However, possessing health insurance plans is now mandatory and enrollment is restricted to an annual open enrollment period and special enrollment periods due to qualifying events.

If health insurance plans are available through your job, employers can purchase them for their employees at any time. Nevertheless, employees are restricted to an annual open enrollment period during which they can sign up or change certain aspects of their coverage. Special enrollment periods are available for employer-sponsored health plans under certain circumstances, including loss of other coverage, getting married, becoming a United States citizen, becoming a dependent or gaining a dependent, etc.

If you are seeking health insurance in the individual market, the federal government has established open enrollment dates. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues Benefit and Payment Parameters (BPP) for the approaching year on an annual basis.

According to the BPP for 2017, HHS states that open enrollment for 2017 and 2018 will adhere to the same schedule which was established in 2016. However, the schedule will be adjusted permanently in time for the 2019 open enrollment, making the enrollment period shorter and end prior to the beginning of the coverage year.

The following are the upcoming open enrollment dates:

  • Coverage for 2017 – November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017
  • Coverage for 2018 – November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018
  • Coverage for 2019 – November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018
  • Coverage for 2020 –November 1, 2019 to December 15, 2019

The following are important dates to remember regarding coverage effective in 2017:

  • November 1, 2016 – Open enrollment begins with coverage effective January 1, 2017.
  • December 15, 2016 – las day to enroll in a plan with a January 1, 2017 effective date. However, if you reside in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, you have until the 23rd.
  • January 15, 2017 – las day to enroll in a plan with a February 1, 2017 effective date.
  • January 31, 2017 – last day to enroll in a 2017 plan.

For more information, contact Insurance Specialists, Inc. today!