It’s that time of the year again. What time is it you ask? It’s open enrollment season ladies and gentlemen. Are you excited? Are you aware? Are you knowledgeable about the open enrollment season? Did you know this opportunity is an advantage to you and is designed to work in YOUR favor? Well if not, let’s discuss open enrollment and maybe this year you’ll make the change that suits your working lifestyle.
What is Open Enrollment?
For those who don’t know, open enrollment is a period of time, a company offers its employees the chance to sign up for health insurance or alter their current coverage plan. In most cases, the window for requesting health insurance is limited to the open enrollment period, which again only comes around once a year. When eligible during the open enrollment period, if you request health insurance, the health plan must insure you under all circumstances. “It’s not allowed to use underwriting or require evidence of insurability, both of which could make it harder for you to get health insurance,” says one HR specialist.
Why is Open Enrollment Only Held Once a Year?
Before asking this question, give it some thought. Do you know how much of a headache it would be for an employee to try and trick the system, using health care only when he or she needs it, or perhaps even not needing it at all? For example, if you could sign up for health insurance or switch plans at any time, what’s keeping you from waiting until you’re sick to get health insurance?
If this opportunity were made available year-round, it would increase the financial risk of both the insurance company as well as the employer and increase insurance premiums for all employees under that employer. Our HR Specialist went on to say, “at the same time, an open enrollment period also protects consumers. It allows people who otherwise might not be insurable to get health insurance without facing underwriting.”
Does Open Enrollment Offer More Than Just Health Benefits?
Do all, maybe not. But sure they can! Some employers allow their employees to sign up or alter their job-based benefits as well. Such as their flexible spending account or health savings account. Life insurance, disability insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, legal insurance, and even veterinary insurance for your pet are other job-based benefits to consider during open enrollment. However, you must remember, job-based benefits like health benefits are pending upon employers. Not all companies or staffing firms are alike, and this must be kept in mind.
Are you looking for a job that offers health benefits? Try browsing through our Job Search page and contact us if you need additional help. You can learn more about our staffing services here.