What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment, sometimes interchangeably used with the term Annual Enrollment, is the time of year when you can freely make changes to your insurance plans. Open/Annual Enrollment occurs both for individuals plans and plans sponsored by employers. This article addresses Open Enrollment for employer sponsored insurance plans.

Open Enrollment usually occurs 11 months from your original effective date with any changes made taking place 12 months from your original effective date. For example, if you plan was originally effective July 1, then open enrollment would occur each year in June. There are ways to change your open enrollment period, but this is not common practice.

Several months before your open enrollment period your broker will strategize with you and review your options for benefits in the coming year. This is the time that you will learn if your carriers are increasing or decreasing rates and is also the time that your broker should be quoting your coverage to be sure you are still offering the best option for your employees.

Open Enrollment is the time of year that any benefit eligible employee can elect, drop, or make changes to their plan without a qualifying event. This is the last time for the next 12 months that an employee may make changes without a qualifying event.

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