2016 Medicare and ACA Enrollment Deadlines

It’s that time of year again. If you obtain your healthcare insurance from your employer, you will be presented with open enrollment choices. As in previous years, the trend continues, with the employee portion of the premium typically increasing. People with coverage by Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) are also in the fall/winter enrollment period.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period:
October 15-December 7

This is the timeframe in which you can make changes to your current Medicare option—choose either Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicare Advantage (Part C). You may also change your prescription drug coverage (Part D). If you have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, you will be receiving a notice of premium/coverage changes for 2016, as you will from your Part D insurer. If you are happy with all of your current choices, you need do nothing. For Part D and Medigap plan changes, you need to contact the insurance company with which you have coverage. If you would like to make changes in Medicare Parts A, B or C, see Medicare & You 2016, which you should have received in the mail, visit http://medicare.gov or call them at 24 hours/day at 800-633-4227. 

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment Period:
November 1- December 31
 

This is the timeframe during which you can enroll, switch plans and get subsidies. Each state has its own health insurance exchange (marketplace), some managed by individual states and some by the federal government. See http://obamacarefacts.com/state-health-insurance-exchange/ to find your state’s marketplace website. If your state hasn’t set up it’s own exchange, go to http://healthcare.gov. Marketplace plans are known as “metal plans,” because the premium/deductible/coverage of the plans are stratified by metal names, with the more costly the metal, the better the plan. All metal plans qualify for tax credits, but only Silver plans qualify for out-of-pocket assistance through cost-sharing-reduction subsidies.

Learn more? Order Surviving the U.S. Health System: Insurance, Providers, Well Care, Sick Care at http://surviveushealthsystem.com/books-store/and peruse the blog archives.