Top 3 Open Enrollment questions from our CEO's Mom
Open Enrollment is one week away...have you marked your calendar yet?!
I spent this weekend getting geared up for Open Enrollment at Stride Health and started getting the usual barrage of questions from friends, family members and some of our esteemed partners about what’s changing for 2017.
But one special lady gets her questions answered on the blog today — that’s my mom! I thought it would be useful to answer the 3 questions I got from my mother this Sunday morning so everybody can enjoy the fruits of our expert team here at Stride. Without further delay...
1. I’m excited to tell everyone I know about Open Enrollment! When can I buy coverage? When should I buy?
Starting November 1, Americans between the ages of 18 - 64 can start shopping for new 2017 health plans. If you’re satisfied with your current plan, see #2 below and please consider the alternatives.
If you enroll in your plan by December 15 you’ll start your coverage on January 1, 2017. You can still enroll over the holidays through January 15, but your coverage won't start until February 1. And if you’re a true procrastinator (which I don’t recommend) then you can enroll Jan 16 through 31st to have your coverage start on March 1st.
I recommend taking care of business before the December holidays so you can cruise into the new year, but you’ll also be better off if your deductible starts ticking on January 1. All individual or family health plans track to a calendar year deductible, so if you wait until February or March to start then you’re not maximizing your investment.
2. What if I need to just re-enroll in my plan, what do I have to do?
You'll be automatically re-enrolled, so you actually don't have to do anything — except be surprised when you realized that, like most insureds, your monthly premium has increased. Bummer. A smarter choice? Head over to stridehealth.com to spend a whopping 5 minutes and see if you can save moolah by switching plans.
If you still want to stay in your 2016 plan, no big deal — drop in your details and we’ll take care of the rest. If you want to switch, we’ll take care of enrolling you in your new plan and guide you through canceling your old plan.
Two great reasons to switch: you’re not the same person you were last year, and your plan isn’t the same price it was last year! Premium prices are going up across the board, some by as much as 32%! But in Florida (where my inquiring mom lives), and elsewhere, there are plans that are actually dropping in price, a reward for those who search.
There’s no easy math on this one folks… unless you use Stride! It’s easy to save $100s when we take care of the details, so checking out your options for 2017 is a no-brainer.
3. What’s it going to cost me to go uninsured?
In 2017, the penalty for being uninsured will rise to the greater of either $695 (per adult family member, and half that per child) or 2.5 percent of taxable income. The low-end is over 2x the 2015 year’s fine of $325 or 2 percent of income. You can go without coverage for up to 3 months without being fined, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
There are still over 32 million of you out there who are under 65 and uninsured, so beware: the IRS will fine you for doing so. If you think you can’t afford coverage, odds are we can get you government tax credits to help pay for your premiums so you’ll end up spending well-below the $695 or 2.5% fine.
If you think you don’t need insurance because you’re flush with cash and can cover your medical bills, the US Treasury cares about as much as a honey badger. Which is to say, they’ll fine you anyways — and that bill for 2.5% of your annual income on your 2016 taxes will most certainly bite.
Remember, at Stride Health we pride ourselves on getting you to your perfect plan and enrolling you in less than 10 minutes. We stick around all year long to deal with any insurance hassles, help you unlock the free care that comes in your plan, and make sure you don’t get hit with any big bills by going outside of your network.