We’re dedicated to helping everyone get the care they need to grow healthy—and that means empowering you to make the best decisions about you and your family’s health. We’ve answered some of your most important questions about the insurance Open Enrollment period.
Don’t forget, we’re here to help, and we can walk you through your options for free.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is a period of time when you get to make important decisions about your health care and your insurance coverage for the next calendar year. You can stay on the plan you’re on, but you can also choose a new plan that works better for your budget or your health needs.
The plan you pick can have a big impact on you: it will affect how much you pay for a doctor’s visit or prescription, which treatments and services are paid for, and which doctors you can see.
When is Open Enrollment?
It depends on what kind of insurance or medical coverage you have. If you get your benefits through Medicare, your Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. If you get your care through Covered California, your Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 to January 15.
Why Does It Matter to Me?
Open Enrollment is really important! It is your chance to get the best care for you and your family. Which plan you choose affects:
- The price of your premiums, or the amount you pay every month for your plan
- Which doctors and hospitals you can see
- How much you pay for your care, including office visits, prescriptions, and other services
- How much you will have to pay out of your own pocket for the entire year
- If you can get certain kinds of care (for example, dental or optometry visits)
What Happens If I Don’t Choose?
If you already have insurance or Medicare, you will likely continue with the same plan you were already on. If you are on a plan through Covered California or your employer, and your plan goes away, you will automatically get assigned to a plan that offers similar coverage at a similar price.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Coverage and Miss the Deadline?
If you are at a job and are offered coverage but miss your deadline, you won’t be able to enroll until the following year. But if you have certain life events, like getting married or having a baby, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. You can also get a short-term plan or you may be eligible for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The same is true for Covered California.
If you miss your deadline to sign up for Medicare, you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period that runs from January 1 to March 31 every year. Unfortunately, your coverage won’t start until July 1.
How Can I Learn More?
AltaMed is ready to walk you through your options for free. We’re right here to answer any questions, and to help you grow healthy, every day, at any age. Learn why AltaMed is your best choice and get started today.