Taking Advantage of Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment Period; that time of year when decisions regarding health insurance coverage are pushed to the forefront of many to-do lists. With so many options to sift through and choose from, it’s easy to see why so many of us get anxious. We’re going to provide you with information to help simplify and guide you through the process. As always, we recommend consulting your personal broker as he or she is most qualified to assess your individual situation.

Open Enrollment & Effective Dates

The Open Enrollment Period begins Friday, November 1st and runs until Sunday, December 15th for January 1st effective dates. It’s important to note that the date you enroll in health insurance coverage is not the date your new plan becomes effective. Plans chosen during Open Enrollment Period have an effective date of January 1st, 2020. This means that you will remain covered by your current health insurance plan until the end of the year. Unfortunately, this also applies to people enrolling who do not currently have health insurance coverage. Therefore, it is vitally important for uncovered individuals to take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period in order to prevent going without benefits for another full year.

Effective Dates for Small Groups (Companies or Businesses with 1-100 Employees)

While the effective date of an individual plan is tied to the first of the calendar year, a small group plan’s effective date coincides with its “contract year”. Therefore, health insurance coverage renewal will occur on the group’s anniversary date. If you are covered under a group policy, your employer or insurance broker will be able to provide you with the anniversary date. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly.

open enrollment information

Evaluating Your Health Insurance Coverage

The Open Enrollment Period gives you the ability to choose any health insurance plan from any carrier making it an ideal time to take a step back and reevaluate your needs. Take note of any major changes that have occurred over the past year, and changes you expect during the upcoming year.

open enrollment health insurance consultation

Life Events Affecting Health Insurance

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a Child
  • Moving
  • Illness
  • Divorce
  • Changes in Employment
  • Changes in Income
  • Death in the Family

Your health insurance broker can be invaluable in helping you assess how any of these life events should influence your choice of coverage.

What to Look for in a Health Insurance Plan

There are some key factors to keep in mind when determining which health insurance coverage will be best for you.

The Network

A health insurance plan’s network lets you know which hospitals, doctors, and other types of health care providers are covered under that specific plan. We recommend making a list of the doctors and hospitals you want included and going over it with your health insurance broker. They will be able to compile a comprehensive list of the carriers and plans that cater to your specific needs.


Keeping health insurance costs within your means while ensuring that the coverage plan meets your needs can be something of a balancing act. Maybe you want health insurance coverage with low monthly premiums. But did you know that plans with lower monthly premiums have higher out-of-pocket expenses? It’s crucial to find out what costs are covered before and after your deductible is reached. Once again, your health insurance broker will be able to provide you with this information and help you find a plan with benefits outweighing the costs.

Note: Your current health insurance carrier will most likely contact you to present their renewal options. You are not limited to these plans and additional options are available if they do not meet your needs.

open enrollment health insurance costs

Looking for More Information?

If you still have questions concerning Open Enrollment or health insurance renewal after consulting with your broker, CAI Insurance Solutions can assist you.

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