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The Affordable Care Act’s tenth open enrollment season will start on November 1, 2022 and end on January 15, 2023. Although the ACA has been in place for a decade, there are still some changes happening in the health insurance marketplace. Here are some things to keep in mind during this year’s open enrollment period.
Firstly, what is open enrollment? It’s the one period of the year where employees can sign up for health insurance or change a health insurance plan provided by the employer. Remember that this period also allows employees to disenroll in health insurance if they no longer wish to have coverage.
The only exception to enrolling, changing a health insurance service, or disenrolling is through a qualifying event. Qualifying events can vary depending on the state the employee resides in.
Qualifying events include:
- Having or adopting a child
- Loss of insurance due to employment change or termination of employment
- Death of someone covered on the plan
- A dependent no longer qualifies as a dependent
- Moving to a new state
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
When is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?
Open enrollment periods range depending on the healthcare provider and the state the employee lives in. Nationally, open enrollment periods begin on November 1st 2022 through January 15th 2023. In order for coverage to begin January 1st 2023, enrollees must enroll by December 15th.
Check here for Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment dates by state.
Is There Health Insurance That Doesn’t Use Open Enrollment?
Yes, a few health insurance policies do not have the same open enrollment restrictions that others do. This means that there aren’t restricted time periods when employers can sign up for insurance. It is available to them year-round.
Different types of health insurances that don’t follow open enrollment rules include:
- U.S. government’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Short-term health insurance
- Travel insurance
- Supplemental insurance programs
How Can Offering Voluntary Benefits Save Your Business Money?
Voluntary benefits are offered by employers to their employees at no additional cost to the employer. They are often referred to as employee-paid benefits or supplemental insurance. The employer makes the benefits available to the employee, but the employee pays the full cost of the plan. It is not split between the two.
This form of insurance is rising in popularity because it allows employees the flexibility to choose the type of insurance or health coverage that best fits their lifestyle instead of paying for coverage the employee does not want or need.
Employer benefits of offering voluntary benefits include:
- Reducing out-of-pocket health care costs
- Access to group rates
- 100% of the insurance cost is paid by the employee
- Gives your employees choice in healthcare plans
- It is available to part-time and full time employees
- Helps your company attract and retain top talent (77% of workers say that benefits packages are an important part of deciding on accepting or rejecting a job offer)
- Saves you billing time through automatic payroll deductions
At SBMA, we provide comprehensive coverage plans for employers to provide affordable benefits to employees. Here, our voluntary benefit plans encompass:
- Personal and miscellaneous
Why is Employee Insurance Enrollment Important?
Employee health insurance is important for businesses, especially Applicable Large Employees (ALE). Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ALEs who do not provide health insurance are penalized for every employee who is not offered health insurance.
This year, fines can range from $2,700 to $4,000 per employee not offered coverage. In comparison, offering our ACA compliant Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) is an affordable way for ALEs to maintain coverage compliance. Look below for a cost comparison of how providing MEC benefits to employees saves your business money.
Besides avoiding hefty fines, employee health insurance provides the support employees need if they ever fall ill, and keeps employees healthy. One of the main benefits of coverage is that covered preventative care visits monitor any health concerns that may arise an employee cannot physically see or feel yet.
Healthy employees are more present and productive at work. Employees who are supported through covered care gain access to resources that combat preventable illness, and are more likely to be positive, engaged and determined to do their best during work.
Another benefit of maintaining a healthy workforce is that it reduces the costs you as an employer must front when an employee takes sick leave or if you have to find someone to cover a shift.
Actionable Ways to Increase Benefit Enrollment
Actively encourage employees to sign up and renew health insurance during open enrollment, and especially before, so employees have time to prepare and choose a plan best suited for them.
Employers can encourage employees to sign up for health insurance during open enrollment 2023 through:
- PDF one-pagers: One-pagers have information about health benefits that are easily distributed around the office.
- Pamphlets: Similar to a one-pager, pamphlets have information, graphics, and contact information for the employee.
- Offer a point of contact: A knowledgeable employee within your business can answer FAQs and help employees find the right plan.
- Text or email campaigns: Sometimes the most effective method of communication is through technology.
- Pay stubs: Add information about enrollment to paystubs because employees receive them regularly.
What’s New with Open Enrollment 2023?
Starting in 2023, the open enrollment period for health insurance will be shortened to just six weeks. This change is being made in an effort to make it easier for people to enroll in coverage and to make sure that they have the coverage they need when they need it.
In addition, starting in 2023, all plans offered through the health insurance marketplace will be required to offer at least 10 essential health benefits. This change is being made in an effort to make sure that all plans offer a minimum level of coverage and to make it easier for people to compare plans.
Starting in 2023, the maximum out-of-pocket limit for all plans offered through the health insurance marketplace will be $8,500 for an individual and $17,000 for a family. This change is being made in an effort to make sure that people have access to affordable health care coverage.
The so-called “family glitch”, refers to a quirk in the Affordable Care Act that made it difficult for some families to obtain subsidies for health insurance. The problem has been fixed for the 2023 coverage year, meaning that more families will now be eligible for financial assistance with their health insurance premiums. This is good news for those who have been struggling to afford coverage, as it will make health insurance more affordable for them.
A Final Word
With open enrollment being such an important time for businesses, it is essential that you take the time to encourage your employees to sign up. Doing so will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.
Curious about how else your business can increase health insurance enrollment this year? Read our article here on how opt-in vs opt-out insurance policies make a bigger difference than you’d think.