Open Enrollment 2022 is in full swing! Here are the ins and outs of Open Enrollment, so you feel confident and informed as you seek out the health insurance plan that works best for you.
Be sure to compare health insurance plans to find the best value and suitable for your needs. Here are some basic terms to know:
- Premium: This is the amount you’ll pay monthly to keep your plan active.
- Covered services: These are the health care services that your insurance plan will help you pay for. This can change based on the plan, but usually, plans with a higher monthly premium will cover more of the cost of your care.
- Copayments: Often shortened to copays, this is the cost that you’re responsible for paying for a covered appointment, service, or prescription. For instance, if you have a $10 copay for a visit to a doctor, you will pay a maximum of $10, and your insurer will pay the rest, regardless of the actual total cost.
- Coinsurance: This is similar to a copayment, but instead of being a fixed cost ($10), it’s a fixed percentage of the total cost of the appointment, service, or prescription. So if you see a specialist that requires a 20% coinsurance and the total cost of that appointment is $100, you’ll owe $20, and your insurer will pay the remaining $80.
- Deductible: If your insurance plan has a deductible, this is the total cost that you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurer begins paying for services. Once you hit that number, you’ll only owe copays, coinsurance, or maybe nothing at all. Related to this is the out-of-pocket max, the maximum amount of money that you would ever be expected to pay in a single calendar year. Once you hit that—through copays, coinsurance, or payments towards your deductible—you should owe nothing again beyond your monthly premium.
Are you someone who is generally healthy and sees a doctor only a few times per year? If so, you might be an excellent fit for a low-premium, high-deductible plan, where you’ll pay a lower monthly rate but would pay more out-of-pocket in an emergency or for any unexpected health needs.
If you have an existing health issue or if you tend to see specialists regularly, it might make sense to pay a higher monthly premium but have fewer out-of-pocket expenses because doctor visits and diagnostic tests are more likely to be covered by your insurer.
What you need when apply for health insurance
When you’re looking for health insurance, you’ll need to provide some basic information. The following checklist should help you get prepared:
- Social security numbers: Be sure to have these on hand for anyone in your house applying for coverage.
- Income information: To find plans available for your family, you will need to have tax statements, pay stubs, or W-2 forms on hand. Make sure you have this information for everyone in your house applying for coverage.
- Current health insurance policy numbers: You must provide the policy number if your family members already have health insurance coverage.
- Employee coverage form: This form is a government form that you will need to fill out if you have the option to get coverage through your employer or your spouse’s employer. You can find this online.
What you should consider when buying a health insurance plan
- Is there have a doctor you want to keep? Is this doctor in the plan’s network?
- Does the plan fit your budget?
- Do you take any prescribed medications? Are they covered by the plan’s Preferred Drug List?
- Do you qualify for a premium tax credit?
- What benefits are most important to you?
Frequently asked questions about Open Enrollment
- When is an Open Enrollment? In New Jersey, Open Enrollment for 2022 is from November 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022. Open Enrollment is the only period you can enroll in health insurance unless you have a major life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
- When do changes made during Open Enrollment go into effect? If you enroll by December 31, 2021, your coverage will start January 1, 2022. If you enroll in January, your coverage will begin February 1, 2022. The last day to enroll for 2022 coverage is January 31, 2022.
- Are there any new plan offerings for Open Enrollment 2022? Yes. Ambetter Health Marketplace Insurance is expanding its affordable health insurance offerings to New Jersey. Ambetter from WellCare of New Jersey will be offered in 16 counties, including Essex, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, and Atlantic.
- Can I drop my COBRA policy during Open Enrollment and enroll in a Marketplace plan instead? Yes. You can sign up for a plan through the Marketplace if you currently have COBRA, but you will have to drop your COBRA plan when your new Marketplace coverage begins. If you voluntarily drop COBRA or stop paying your premiums after Open Enrollment ends, you will not be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period and will have to wait until the next Open Enrollment period to get health insurance.
- If I have already enrolled in a plan for the new year, can I change my mind and pick a different health plan instead? You can always make multiple health insurance plan selections during the open enrollment period, as long as you complete the last change by the end of open enrollment. For 2022 coverage, there are two effective dates, so if you want coverage starting January 1, 2022, changes must be made by December 31, 2021. If you want coverage starting February 1, 2022, the last day to make changes is January 31, 2022.
- Is there enrollment assistance available? Yes. You can receive free help to find a health insurance plan that’s right for you. Cosmo Insurance Agency has trained professionals who can help you with enrollment for free. Call us to speak with a qualified broker or submit a request online, and we can guide you through the application.
Call Cosmo Insurance Agency at 732-363-3888, or visit our website for a free quote.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.