Open Enrollment 2020 - 2021
Open Enrollment is a period of time when you may enroll in insurance plans for the next year, like health insurance. Enrollment Periods are set up for Medicare, job-based or employer-provided health insurance, and individual market insurance, like the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Life events” are instances where you may be eligible to get new coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period. Examples (provided by Verywell.com) of life events are:
- Losing or quitting a job
- Aging off a parent’s plan
- COBRA insurance expiring
- Getting divorced
- Moving out of a plan’s service area
- Getting married
- Having a baby or adopting a child
There are specific enrollment periods for each type of health insurance, as we’ll discuss below.
2021 Individual Market/ACA Open Enrollment Period (OEP)
The Individual Market Open Enrollment Period (including ACA coverage) for healthcare coverage in 2021 begins November 1 and ends December 15, 2020 for most states. There are 12 states that don’t have to follow this schedule and sometimes offer longer enrollment periods.
Like “life events”, the Individual Market lays out specific events where you can get healthcare coverage outside of these dates. These “qualifying events” are (according to Healthinsurance.org):
- Marriage or divorce
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
- Birth or adoption
- Involuntary loss of other health coverage
- Permanent move to an area where new health plans are available
- And more...
2021 Medicare Annual Election Period (for Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans)
The Medicare Annual Election Period begins October 15 and ends December 7, 2020. Medicare.com informs us that during this period, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t include drug coverage to one that does, and vice versa
- Join a Medicare prescription drug plan
- Switch from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another one
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage
For a full list of other enrollment periods regarding Medicare, see Medicare.com.
Tools for a Productive Open Enrollment Period
Open Enrollment Period is always an extremely busy time for your agency, but using an agency management system (AMS) helps you increase organization and efficiency (and hopefully stay sane).
Agency Management System (AMS)
The best way to keep the craziness under control is to be extremely organized in an AMS.
An AMS keeps all of your individuals, groups, and policies organized and updated. With a quick type-to-search or report, you can find any information you’re looking for in seconds. Save these searches to use throughout OEP. See some examples of what searches to save in this blog: Here's How to Not Waste 20% of Your Day Searching for Information.
Also, attach important documents to clients and their policies so nobody has to go searching for information.
Ensure every policy renewal and new incoming lead follows the same process for peak efficiency. Automate many of these processes with Automated Workflow and with the help of our Open Enrollment Email Templates!
What’s also extremely important during OEP is the ability to run reports based on carriers and/or coverage types to find anyone you might need to reach out to regarding changes for this year. You can easily do this when your data is housed in an agency management system with advanced search and custom reporting capabilities.
See AgencyBloc for yourself in our quick, 5-minute overview video or by scheduling a live, 1-on-1 demo!
Resources to Help You Prepare for This Year’s Open Enrollment Season
We are all still a bit uncertain about what this year’s OEP has in store for us. Many of us are still working remotely and will continue to do so throughout OEP. It can be difficult to know how to prepare when you’re not even sure what next week might bring.
However, there are still resources you can use to do your best to prepare yourself and your team. We pulled together some resources where you’ll learn what you can do this OEP to save time with prospect & client communications, streamline commissions processing, and more.
Resources to Prep for Open Enrollment Season
On this page, you'll find a recorded webinar, guides, email templates, and blogs created to help you and your team prepare for this year's Open Enrollment season.
View the Resources
This blog was originally published on 7/23/2019. It has been updated and republished on 9/2/2020.