open enrollment 2019

Open Enrollment 2019

Open Enrollment 2019: Rates Decreased 7% and New Self-Employed Options

By: Mark Herschlag

It’s that time of year again, NOW through December 15th – is Open Enrollment, the time to enroll in health insurance plans for 2019. You have questions, we have answers. Small businesses, Self-Employed or Single Member Businesses, Groups, Families, Individuals, you have options.  Let’s start by choosing a health plan that suits your needs.

There Are Amazing Options Out There & Beyond Amazing New Ones!

The good news is that there is an array of good individual health care options available for you from various reputable carriers. We at Cosmo know these options inside out, and will guide you towards the best one for you.

Important: This year husband and wife and single employer insurance group plans will be terminated from their existing plans. (i.e a group that has one owner and 5 employees and only the employer is enrolled in a health insurance plan. Will not be able to reenroll unless one of their W-2 employees enroll as well) But don’t stress we have a solution for you which is a huge game changer.

Cosmo is now partnered with Employer Health Association, which are for self-employed or single member businesses to receive health benefits like large corporations at affordable rates. On top of it, EHA will help you set up a wide-ranging benefits package and risk management plan that will include dental, vision and other wonderful benefits, like fortune 500 companies receive.

As for individual market options health rates have decreased 7% for 2019. This is the first time in a VERY long time that rates have ever decreased.  We’ll be happy to tell you how you can take advantage of it!

Open Enrollment Facts

Open Enrollment is by now almost a household word, but there is still lots of confusion. Here’s a recap of why the next few weeks are critical for the healthcare you’ll be enrolling in for 2019. It is for your benefit to pay close attention.

During this period, you can enroll in any new plan available for you. By law, health insurance companies may not discriminate based on any health condition. Premium rates are equal for all based on age and the state you live in. Whatever plan you enroll in during this period will go in effect January 1, 2019. You will not be able to upgrade or switch plans after December 15th, 2018, no matter how much you’re willing to pay out of pocket. 

The only way one can switch plans in 2019, after Open Enrollment concludes, is if they qualify for a group plan or they lose existing health coverage due to a qualifying circumstance, such as a death in the family, divorce, loss of employment, marriage or termination of Medicaid coverage.

It is important to note that even though group plans can commence all year round, the current open season can be very helpful for people who are employed or part of another insurance group too. During open season, you can obtain group coverage without many of the year-round requirements, such as excluding a particular percentage of the group from participating in the plan.

There may be better plans for you out there today, with benefits that better suit your needs, a better provider network and/or more competitive premiums. 

Don’t Delay

When assessing your options for next year there are several important things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, bear in mind that if you earn below 400% of poverty level, you can get significant federal ACA subsidies to pay for your premiums when purchasing a plan on the exchange. But be honest about your earnings. The subsidies are based on the income you project to earn in 2019. If you end up earning more than what you tell the government now, you will need to pay Uncle Sam back next year for the excess he paid you this year. That’s certainly not on your wish list.

Whatever plan you end up choosing, the earlier you begin the process, the better. You will have more time to understand your options and make a wise decision. When you enroll earlier, you will have your ID cards in time and greater peace of mind in every aspect of your coverage. Waiting for the last minute to enroll can give you great headaches as well, such as having to delay your appointment with your physician even if you very much need the visit.

A little time and effort now can make a great difference throughout the next year, both financially and with the quality of your healthcare. Just give Cosmo Insurance Agency a call. We will simplify the process for you!

Mark Herschlag is the founder and CEO of Cosmo Insurance Agency, which is based in Ocean County. Cosmo Insurance Agency offers personalized solutions for individuals and businesses looking to obtain health, life, dental, long term care or disability insurance.   

For more information or for a free, no-obligation quote, please call (732) 363-3888 or email

Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. 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 the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.