Open enrollment in the federal health insurance plan appears to be going more smoothly this year. It started on the 15th and it continues through February 15th, a shorter period than last year when the program ran into numerous snags for first-time enrollees.
The Missouri Foundation for Health is encouraging those who enrolled last year to stay in the program and to seek help picking the right plan. That’s because more insurance companies have entered the marketplace and in some districts, the number of options has doubled.
Foundation Vice President Ryan Barker hopes Missouri enrollment increases by at least one-third this year. “Last year, by the end of open enrollment, we had enrolled a little more than 152,000 Missourians…That exceeded the federal goal for Missouri by almost thirty percent,” he says. Barker hopes all of those people will re-enroll and at least 50,000 new families sign up.
He says Missourians who do nothing are automatically enrolled in the same or similar plan for the next year. People wanting a new plan that will start January first only have until December 15th to enroll. Those who want until the last two weeks won’t be covered until March first.
The February 15 deadline does not affect those enrolling in Medicaid or in the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Missourians can enroll in those programs at any time.