The New Year is fast approaching, which means you’ll need to tackle some tasks for the sake of your healthcare. You don’t want to wait too long to act. You could miss some important deadlines and put yourself in a tougher position for the upcoming year.
What tasks should you tackle ASAP?
Participate in the Open Enrollment Period
The Open Enrollment Period is a short window of time where citizens can enroll in a major medical health insurance plan or ACA-compliant health insurance plan for the upcoming year. For the majority of states, the period started on November 1st and officially ended on January 15th. You can find out more details about the open enrollment period deadlines on the healthcare.gov website.
The enrollment period is incredibly important for anyone who doesn’t have any health insurance and wants to access coverage in the upcoming year. It’s also important for citizens that want to change their current plan.
If you are happy with your health insurance and you want to keep your plan, you should simply renew it.
Exceptions for Open Enrollment Deadlines
You will not be able to apply for new healthcare coverage after the January 15th deadline — unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. A special enrollment period will typically give you an additional 60 days to enroll in a plan.
These are some circumstances that could qualify you for special enrollment:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Having a baby
- Experiencing a change in citizenship status
- Moving to a new location
Medicaid and CHIP:
Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are not solely available during the open enrollment period. Citizens that are eligible for these healthcare programs are free to apply year-round.
Supplemental insurance plans (like dental, vision care, or long-term care) are not part of the open enrollment period. You are free to sign up for these private plans at any time.
Use Up Your FSA
If you have an employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Account, you may want to use up the remaining balance as soon as possible. The balance will only be available until the end of the year.
These are some expenses you could use your FSA for:
- Vision care
- Dental care
- Medical equipment
Some FSAs offer grace periods, where you can continue to use the remaining funds from a previous year’s FSA to cover healthcare costs in the new year. This grace period typically lasts from January 1st to March 15th.
Get a Dental Discount Plan
A dental discount plan is an annual membership that offers discounts between 10-60%on various dental treatments. This can be extremely useful for emergency dental treatments when the expense may not fit within your usual budget.
Without a dental discount plan, you might not be able to handle emergency dental treatment entirely out of pocket. In that case, you could look into personal emergency loans as a solution to pay for the treatment without enough savings. If you’re eligible for an emergency loan online, you can send in your application and wait to see about your approval status. An approved emergency loan would allow you to cover your treatment costs in a short amount of time and then follow a straightforward repayment plan afterward.
To guarantee that you will have more affordable dental care in the new year, you should apply for a dental discount plan.
Don’t wait for New Year’s to arrive and leave these healthcare tasks unfinished. Tackle them now!