Every year under the ACA there is a time where everyone regardless of health or circumstance can change health plans either through the Marketplace or directly with insurance carriers. In 2016 the dates have now been set.
Individual Market Open Enrollment Period Set for 2016
|The CMS has set the under 65 market annual open enrollment period for 2016 to begin on Nov. 1, 2015, and run through Jan. 31, 2016, giving consumers three full months to shop. The Medicare open enrollment for 2016 is set for Oct. 15, 2015, through Dec. 7, 2015|
Of course if you receive your health insurance through an employer you will have to work within their open enrollment dates as well.
Teachers for example usually have to make their open enrollment changes in August. There will never be a perfect time; however, these 2016 dates are a vast improvement. Remember the earliest effective date will be 1/1/2016.
Plan ahead and make the changes that benefit you and your family. Use tools like www.elphelp.com to view all the plans available. Consult a broker because it does not cost you any more money to gain expert advice. Do not be afraid to use all options available.
Example: Wife & kids on employee plus children rate through school district cost my family $297 a month (pretty good deal for 5 belly buttons). If I was on the plan (under Family rate) it would be north of $1,000. I gained coverage elsewhere for $170 so my monthly savings is over $500 a month or $6000 a year.
I call this strategy “slice and dice.”
In summary, plan ahead and look at all your options and all your combinations. Obviously, there are other considerations with deductibles and overall risk so you will have to do the math. Get help and take some time to evaluate what is best for your family every year.