A couple happily speaks to an advisor about Open Enrollment
Open Enrollment 2022 Explained

Open Enrollment for 2022 is nearly here! This enrollment period is a little different than in years past. Read on for a run-down on what OE is, how this year is different from previous years, and what you can/should do to take full advantage of what’s available. When you’re finished reading, head to our quote form and fill it out to get a free healthcare quote in time for Open Enrollment.


What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the time period when everyone in the United States, regardless of their current coverage, can change their health insurance plan. Normally, someone can only change their plan if there is a significant, specific change to their life or insurance coverage (these are called “qualifying life events”). That rule disappears during Open Enrollment. Everyone, everywhere, can shop around, look at different plans, and switch healthcare providers if they so choose during the enrollment period. 


Open Enrollment for private health insurance and Marketplace/ACA/Obamacare insurance takes place at the end of the year. Coverage obtained during this time will be applicable to the next full calendar year (that means that coverage you buy this year will cover you for 2022).


Expanded Deadline

The Open Enrollment period for 2022 is longer than it has been in past years. The federal government expanded the period by a full 30 days. In past years, Open Enrollment for health insurance only lasted from November 1 - December 15. The 2022 Open Enrollment period, however, will last From November 1, 2021 - January 15, 2022. The extra time will take a lot of pressure off of Americans to rush into a plan that isn’t right for them. Instead, they’ll have the chance to work with someone and find their best plan. If you want your coverage to start as soon as 2022 begins, then you will have to enroll by December 15, 2021. Plans scheduled after that date will begin later in 2022. 


Who is Eligible?

The short answer is: everybody! The Healthcare Open Enrollment period is the only time of the year when everybody can change their health plans. Normally, you need a “qualifying life event” to change your coverage: the death of a spouse, the birth of a child, etc. Luckily, these qualifications are waived during Open Enrollment. 


Not all types of health insurance use Open Enrollment. The following health insurance policies don’t use an open enrollment period:

  • Medicaid
  • CHIP
  • Travel insurance
  • Short-term health insurance
  • Some supplemental insurance products


If you want to enroll in one of these plans, then you can enroll anytime (an Apollo Advisor could even help you enroll right now). However, if you want to enroll in long-term medical or health insurance, then you HAVE to talk to an insurance broker during Open Enrollment. Otherwise, you might miss your chance and have to wait for a qualifying life event.


Qualifying Life Events

If you miss enrolling in health insurance during the Open Enrollment period, then you won’t be able to change coverage without a qualifying life event. These are:

  • Loss of health coverage
    • Losing existing health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans
    • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
    • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
  • Changes in household
    • Getting married or divorced
    • Having a baby or adopting a child
    • Death in the family
  • Changes in residence
    • Moving to a different ZIP code or county
    • A student moving to or from the place they attend school
    • A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
    • Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
  • Other qualifying events
    • Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
    • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
    • Becoming a U.S. citizen
    • Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
    • AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service


Why Should I Participate?

Open Enrollment 2022 could be your ONLY chance to find a health insurance plan that you’re happy with for the 2022 calendar year. In years past, a lot of people have been rushed into finding insurance plans that make them unhappy. It’s all the little things that add up: maybe their deductible is too high, maybe they don’t like their primary care physician, or they have an issue with their care network. Without a qualifying life event, Open Enrollment is the only opportunity you’ll have to find something else.


Even if you don’t have any serious complaints about your current health coverage, you never know what else you’ll find. Major and minor insurance companies are all chomping at the bit trying to sign up new members. There is a lot of competition to provide insurance coverage right now. Competition means lower prices, lower deductibles, and more flexible plans. There are no fees to look at what plans are available, so why wouldn’t you check?


Should I Use an Insurance Brokerage?

If you’re looking for a new plan during Open Enrollment, then you should ABSOLUTELY use an insurance brokerage. First and foremost, it’s free: all the fees to use a broker are paid by the insurance company offering the plan, and the plans cost the same amount that they would if you went to an insurance company directly. There is no extra cost when using an insurance broker. 


Most people don’t have the time in their day or the industry knowledge to effectively browse multiple insurance plans. Without that, then it’s essentially a gamble if you’re trying to find the best plan for you. A broker can change all that.


Insurance brokers and advisors have the industry knowledge, the resources, and the connections to help you find the best plan for your needs. They act as a middleman between you and all the insurance companies you could potentially buy a policy from. With a broker, you can easily compare all the details of multiple plans to find one that fits your needs. You won’t have to worry about forgetting to ask something important; your broker will do that for you. 


What Do I Need to Enroll?

There are a few pieces of information that you’ll need to enroll in health insurance. You won’t need most of these to start enrolling - just talk to a broker and they will guide you through the process (the advisors at Apollo Insurance Group can help you find a policy with just a few pieces of basic personal information). When you’re ready to complete the enrollment process, you’ll need all of the following:

  • Basic personal information - date of birth, etc.
  • Other household members - your spouse, your dependents, anyone else under 21 in the household. You’ll have to include them even if you aren’t insuring them on your plan
  • Mailing address
  • Personal information for everyone applying for coverage
  • Social Security Numbers for everyone on the application
  • Information about the professional (broker, etc.) helping you apply
  • Federal Income Tax information
  • Wages, tips, alimony, and other taxable income for everyone in the household
  • Household income estimate
  • Current health coverage information
  • Employer information


Additionally, if you or someone in your household is eligible for health insurance through an employer, then you’ll need additional information regarding that. The federal government produces a useful checklist of all the information you need to apply for health insurance.


Easy Enrollment with Apollo

Two and a half months for Open Enrollment may seem like a long time, but it will pass by in the blink of an eye. Don’t sit around thinking about whether or not you want to change health plans; it may already be too late by the time you make your decision. Instead, contact an Apollo Insurance Advisor and look at the plans that are available to you, for free, today.

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