From the Desk of Allison Johnson - Goodbye, 2020- What you need to know for Year End!
(Posted on 11/09/20)
2020 has been the weirdest year ever, I think we can all agree on that. I hope we’ll look back on it as a time we were able to learn to adapt and grow through just about anything. On the insurance side, things are thankfully pretty normal, just the regular year-end volume and chaos. Here are the top things you need to know to keep yourself sane during this crazy time.

Individual Open Enrollment
Thankfully this year, rates look pretty good and applications are coming in slowly but steadily. Plus, we have a whole lot more time to get those apps in and processed. For a 1/1 date, applications need to be in by 12/31- the office closes at 3pm, so make sure you have them in early!

Fortunately, if you miss that, you’ll have the whole month of January to get apps in, they just won’t be effective until February. Applications need to be in to our office by close of business on the 29th for Martin to process, but the carrier sites and exchange will be up over the weekend. Feel free to reach out if you need a login for the carrier sites. Don’t forget to reach out to all of your existing clients and help them renew so we don’t run into any BOR issues!

Open enrollment is a great time to reach out to your groups and make sure they don’t have any employees or dependents who missed their eligibility windows and need coverage. Dependents who aged out are a good pool of people to check on!

In addition to the date changes, the exchange moved from federal to a state based exchange. While this allows more flexibility on SEPs and gives us a longer OE, it’s not without its challenges. Make sure that you help any clients you have on the exchange renew so you don’t lose BOR!

Employer Open Enrollment
Ah, the Wild Wild West of health insurance. From 11/15-12/15, small groups can enroll without needing to meet participation or contribution requirements for medical. This is a perfect time to rewrite or change the renewal for your groups that always have participation issues. Don’t forget, they still have to be compliant, so that doesn’t help your owner-only groups or groups without an FTE. MHP doesn’t participate in the festivities, so make sure you keep sending in waivers for those groups.

Medicare Open Enrollment
Medicare open enrollment is in full swing and going great! We are here to help with applications, quotes, and Part D analysis. Open enrollment runs from 10/15-12/7, so you are halfway there!

It’s the time of year when everyone is sick, but also crazy busy, and no one has time to wait at their doctor’s office for 3 hours. Plus, now there’s the added stress of avoiding COVID exposure while you’re there! Have no fear, telemedicine is here to help! Thanks to COVID-19, the carriers have all stepped up their game and improved the telemed services they offer. You can call in, get the medicine sent to your local pharmacy, and pick it up on lunch or whenever you get a chance. It’s a great way to save time and money for both the employee and employer.

Voluntary Benefits
As rates continue to rise and benefits fall, voluntary plans are a great way to add value to benefit packages without additional responsibility on the employer. From vision to life, there are a ton of great options out there! January is a great time to talk about these with employers, since most groups are renewing and trying to figure out the best way to serve their employees.