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Open enrollment: It's time to plan for 2018

 October 11, 2017

Fall has arrived, and that means open enrollment is just around the corner. Because you only have this one time during the year to make changes to your health plan ‚ÄĒ unless you have a qualifying life event ‚ÄĒ don‚Äôt miss this opportunity to review what you need to know for open enrollment.

Medicare open enrollment: October 15 ‚Äď December 7

During Medicare open enrollment, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Part D Rx plans. You can enroll in or unenroll from a Medicare Advantage health plan and change or enroll in a Part D Rx plan. Because benefits and premiums generally change each year, it’s important to see if there is a better 2018 option available for you. It’s especially important to review your Part D Rx plan since the insurance carrier’s formulary list changes each year. You want to be sure that the carrier’s formulary list and your medications provide the best match to save you money. The selection of a Medicare Advantage or Part D Rx plan is an annual commitment, so once open enrollment is closed, you cannot make changes unless you have a qualifying event. Medicare supplement plans are not subject to the open enrollment restrictions, but since a Medicare Supplement is usually paired with a Part D Rx, you still want to be aware of the Part D open enrollment period.

Under 65 open enrollment: Shorter enrollment period of November 1 ‚Äď December 15, 2017

Despite the talk of repealing and replacing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as of this date the law remains in effect. That means you can only change or enroll in a health plan during open enrollment, except for limited circumstances. Also note that the open enrollment period this year is reduced to 45 days ‚ÄĒ considerably shorter than the 90 days when the ACA went into effect.
2018 is bringing some changes to the Wisconsin marketplace. Neither Molina nor Anthem will be offering plans on the marketplace. If you are currently enrolled in Molina’s or Anthem’s ACA-compliant plans, you will need to move to another insurance carrier. Humana is terminating grandfathered plans. Perhaps the most important factor to consider in changing plans is the network of doctors and hospitals. While price is important, the lower-priced plans may have reduced networks, which will affect your choice. If you are receiving a premium tax credit, you should definitely update your income with the marketplace to be sure you receive the maximum 2018 credit. 

With the ongoing changes to healthcare, it is more important than ever to partner with a broker who can guide you through the system, help you select a plan that has the benefits and doctors you need, and assure that you are receiving the tax credits you deserve. The WRA has partnered with REGIT Inc. to provide this service to you. REGIT’s representatives are certified to sell insurance both on or off the marketplace. 

Contact REGIT for assistance and guidance at 800-537-9786 or via email at regit@regitinc.com.

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