Benefits Buzz

2019 Open Enrollment Periods Officially Underway

Posted on October 23rd, 2018

Last week, the 2019 open enrollment period (OEP) season officially kicked off for Medicare beneficiaries. From October 15th to December 7th, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes or enroll in any Part D or Medicare Advantage plan that is available in their service area.

Below is a summary of OEPs for other market segments.   

Individual Market

  • Runs from November 1st to December 15th
  • Allows for enrollment or changes in on-Exchange and off-Exchange plans
  • Changes and enrollments are effective as of January 1, 2019

Small Group Market

  • Runs from November 15th to December 15th
  • Health insurance carriers must waive participation and contribution requirements
  • Enrollments are effective as of January 1, 2019
  • Some health insurance carriers may extend the length of the enrollment period and/or make other effective dates available

Large Group Market

  • No mandatory required OEP
  • Many large employers renew their health plans and benefits on January 1st, and as a result, have an OEP that occurs during the fourth quarter. 

With so many OEPs occurring during the 4th quarter, the health insurance industry has become much more seasonal over recent years.  It’ s expected to be a very busy time in the industry. Brokers, employers, and individuals should plan accordingly and allow for enough time to make informed decisions on coverage for 2019.


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