Choose Smart California: Open Enrollment Wrap-Up and Preparing for Next Year

My Patient Rights > Choose Smart California: Open Enrollment Wrap-Up and Preparing for Next Year

Choose Smart California: Open Enrollment Wrap-Up and Preparing for Next Year

As we come to the end of our Choose Smart California blog series – and California’s Open Enrollment period – we’re looking back on what we covered and how we can prepare for next year.

We hope you learned new things after reading our posts covering topics from finding the right plan to selecting vision and dental coverage. For Californians, remember all residents must obtain health insurance by January. This year’s mandate requires consumers pay a penalty if they do not have insurance, and is due when filing state tax returns in 2021. The penalty can be more than $695 per uninsured adult (or 2.5% of your annual income) and half that per dependent child.

There are some exemptions to the mandate for special circumstances, such as when an individual cannot afford health coverage, is granted a religious exemption, or has suffered a devastating hardship, but these are typically decided on a case-by-case basis.

Now that the 2020 open enrollment season is almost behind us, it’s the perfect time to start prepping for 2021!

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for the next open enrollment period is to pay close attention to your usage during this coverage year. If you find yourself needing treatment that isn’t covered by your current plan, that’s a great sign you should consider looking into other plans.

You may also want to evaluate what coverage you see yourself needing in the upcoming year. Here are some questions to ask and factors you may want to consider:

  • Will your doctor continue accepting your insurance? If not, and you prefer to continue seeing them, it may be a good idea to switch plans.
  • Has a family member been recently diagnosed with a medical condition? You may want to double check your coverage to ensure they have access to the best doctors and treatment.
  • Are you planning on expanding your family? You may want to ensure your prenatal care is covered!
  • Do you have a child going to college out of state or studying abroad? You’ll want to make sure your plan doesn’t drop coverage if they’re out of state.

For individuals who may be enrolling for the first time during the 2021 plan year, we suggest you take note of the enrollment dates and start exploring the different options early, so you have ample time to compare plans and ask questions! In most states open enrollment runs from October 15, 2020 to December 7, 2020 with plans going into effect beginning January 1, 2021.

Thank you for joining us this enrollment period. My Patient Rights looks forward to helping out in 2020—and every day!

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