It’s that magic time of the year again for children in certain states. We all know that nothing gets kids more excited than the annual open enrollment period for health insurance. So, grab a sippy cup and turn off the Dora DVD – it’s time to for an educational play date with a health insurance carrier!
What are open enrollment periods?
Open enrollment periods allow people to sign up for health coverage during a certain time allotted.
Why are there open enrollment periods for child-only coverage?
When health care reform passed, it ended the practice of denying children health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Many health insurance carriers that offered child-only plans stopped providing the coverage altogether due to the risk involved. Some states worked out deals with health insurers allowing them to have open enrollment periods to offer the coverage throughout the year.
Why are the open enrollment periods necessary?
Without open enrollment periods, there is a chance that there wouldn’t be any child-only plans in existence today. Open enrollment reduces the risk of the health insurance company and allows residents in the state to still get the necessary coverage.
What states have open enrollment periods right now?
Not every state currently has open enrollment periods available but the following states have open enrollment periods within the next couple months:
- Colorado: July 2012
- Disrict of Columbia: July 2012
- Iowa: July 1, 2012 to August 14, 2012
- Illinois: July 2012
- Maryland: July 2012
- Massachusetts: July 1, 2012 to August, 15, 2012
- Oklahoma: July 1, 2012 to July 31, 2012
- South Dakota: July 1, 2012 to August 15, 2012
What can I do if I miss the open enrollment period?
You can still get children coverage as a dependent of an adult’s health plan in every state.