October 29, 2014

Open Enrollment Season is Here!

open enrollment and health care costs

It’s that time of year again. Nope, not the holidays… we’re talking about the Health Insurance Marketplace’s Open Enrollment Period. This is the time of year when you can review your plans, apply for new coverage, or make changes to your coverage.

Here are the key dates you need to know:

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

And here are some tips:

Small business? Try SHOP.  If you do not currently offer health insurance benefits and you have less than 50 employees, you may want to look into the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) program. Many small employers will qualify for a tax credit if they pay for at least 50% of the employee’s own premiums. (And you can only apply for new insurance and qualify for the credit through the Marketplace during open enrollment, so this is your chance.)

Offering a stipend instead? Watch for this pitfall!   You may not know that stipends must comply with the ACA, and thus cannot be paid on a pre-tax basis. For more information about why this is not allowed, and what you can do, doctors and their office managers can give CEDR a call at 866-414-6056, or email info@cedrsolutions.com.

What if you still have questions about choosing coverage?  For more information about your healthcare options, link HERE, or give your insurance broker a call.  The key date info listed above is from www.healthcare.gov, where you can also find further resources for compliance and understanding.

We hope this information helps you make the right decisions for your practice.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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Please note: CEDR Solutions specializes in providing expert HR support to owners and operators of independently owned medical and dental practices.