Insurance open enrollment underway
Last updated 11/2/2021 at Noon
Good health — and good health coverage — have never been more at the forefront of people’s minds than now. For those who are not covered by Medicare or an employer-based plan, the time is here to get
or renew coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The 2022 open enrollment period started November 1 and
runs through January 15, 2022.
The open enrollment period is for individuals
and families only, both through the health insurance market exchange through http://www.healthcare.gov, or directly through insurance companies in Oregon.
Jonie Peck of Sapphire Moon Health Insurance in Sisters notes that, “This is the only time of year to change your plan or insurance company for the 2022 calendar year — unless you have a qualifying life event like loss of group plan, move into state, marriage, birth, etc.”
Individuals can navigate healthcare.gov on their own, look for an “assister” through the website, or seek counsel from an insurance agent. Local agents emphasize that there is no fee to the client for consulting with them, and doing so can be helpful if the marketplace proves confusing.
Linda Alldredge of Country Financial in Sisters noted that the open enrollment period is longer than usual this year — but she encourages people not to delay action.
“I’m not enthusiastic about going much past the holidays,” she said. “People get weird at the holidays — in a good way. They don’t want to think about things like this. So I try to get them in early so they can focus on the holidays.”
She notes that she will work in-person or over the phone with her clients, based on whatever they are currently comfortable doing.
Peck concurs, noting that getting premiums paid and insurance cards in hand offers peace of mind. Acting early allows plenty of time to get any complications resolved before a rush of last-minute action in
This is the time to review what you need in a health plan — including whether a plan’s doctors are covered in Central Oregon. Purchasers should ask questions of themselves, such as whether they need better prescription coverage, mental health coverage, or other options that they didn’t need before. While increasing and improving coverage is common, it’s possible that circumstances have changed in a way that allows for a more basic plan. And you may not need to make any change at all.
“I think it’s really just important to review your plan every year,” Peck said. “If it’s working for you, great.”