Key Deadlines Every Health Insurance Broker Should Know in 2024

Health In Tech would like to remind all brokers of these key deadlines for the upcoming year. 2024 is a year of changes, and brokers need to be prepared. The most significant issue is that Medicaid Unwinding ends on April 1. Many people were disenrolled from state Medicaid plans in September 2023, and some could not obtain ACA coverage during the recent Open Enrollment period. Others are anticipated to be abruptly disenrolled in the coming months. This patient population urgently needs assistance and advice from health insurance brokers.

Another issue affecting 2024 is implementing the new prescription drug law that went into effect on January 1, 2023. Many seniors on Medicare have not caught up with how this law could affect them, and they will require advice during the Medicare Open Enrollment period this fall. They need to determine whether to change their drug policy or not. Some may be able to benefit more fully by switching their entire Medicare plan to something different.

In addition, many employer-sponsored health insurance plans significantly increased employee costs in January 2024. Employees may already be reeling from the average 6% increase taken out of their paychecks in the last few weeks. Employers are likely to be interested in renegotiating their plans or looking for a new provider in the near future. Employees may also be interested in discussing their health insurance options to reduce out-of-pocket costs.

Overall, 2024 will be a busy year for health insurance brokers, and Health In Tech will be here to assist you.

Medicaid Unwinding Ends

The special programs implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to extend medical coverage through the Medicaid program started ending on April 1, 2023. States were given a year to fully transition from the COVID-19 era policies to new policies, ending on April 1, 2024.

Many individuals are experiencing an abrupt termination of their healthcare coverage and are in dire need of advice. CMS has prepared an insurance broker resources primary information source on Medicaid Unwinding and other general insurance topics.

Although most affected people were disenrolled in September 2023, others will be disenrolled in the coming months and will need help obtaining suitable coverage. In addition, while many of the people disenrolled in 2023 were able to obtain coverage through the ACA, some are still facing challenges in enrolling and/or finding a policy that provides for their needs. Residents of the ten states that have yet to expand Medicaid may be eager to learn about any option for coverage. In addition, it is possible that some of the ten states that have yet to expand Medicaid may do so in 2024, which will cause additional changes in the health insurance marketplace that brokers should be prepared for.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment in 2024

Medicare Advantage open enrollment started on January 1 and runs through March 31. During this time, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries can change to a different plan, switch to the original Medicare, or sign up for a Part D drug plan. Recent changes to drug benefits in Medicare make it imperative that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries consult with their insurance brokers this spring to ensure they receive the necessary benefits.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period in 2024

Open enrollment for Medicare runs from October 15 to December 7. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries can switch back and forth between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage enrollees can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage and original Medicare beneficiaries can add, drop, or change to a different Part D (drug) plan.

Drug benefits under Plan D changed in several ways from 2023 to 2024, such as implementing a monthly cost cap for insulin. Medicare beneficiaries who didn’t notice these changes last year should be encouraged to revisit their drug benefits during open enrollment in 2024.

Affordable Care Act Open Season 2024

Individuals who do not qualify for other health insurance benefits and do not receive a health insurance plan through an employer are eligible to enroll in health insurance through the ACA. During open season in the fall (November 1 through January 15), all individuals can determine if they qualify for ACA coverage and buy a new plan, and persons already covered by the ACA need to ascertain if they are still covered, and if so, they can renew their old plan or select a new one.

Individuals covered under the ACA could benefit from guidance from insurance brokers. Many people new to the concept of health insurance simply look for a policy with the lowest monthly premium without considering out-of-pocket costs, copays, deductibles, or other benefits. People abruptly transitioning from Medicaid to the ACA may be tempted to purchase the plans some providers are marketing as “Medicaid transition plans”; however, many such plans provide limited coverage and brokers should be prepared to explain why most people would be better off selecting a different plan.

In addition, new ACA beneficiaries may need guidance about coverage for their children. They need to coordinate with the other parent about coverage. Since the health insurance calendar year secondary birthday rule applies to ACA policies, they have to decide whether to put the child on both policies or just one and if so, which one.

Federal Health Insurance Open Season 2024

Every year, federal employees have the chance to review and change their federal benefits package. Around 8 million current federal employees, retirees, and some members of the military are covered under this plan. Unfortunately, most of them do not bother to check or change their benefit package during open enrollment even if their plan is going to change in some way. Insurance brokers should remind their clients they could experience substantial out-of-pocket savings or improved benefits by carefully comparing the available insurance plans and selecting the most appropriate one during FEHB open season.

Open season for the next year runs from the second week of November to the end of the Monday of the second week in December. In 2024, these dates are November 11 through December 9.

2024 key deadlines infographic

Stay Ahead of Key Deadlines with Health In Tech’s Insurance Broker Resources

Being aware of the key deadlines every health insurance broker should know in 2024 is imperative for your success. At Health In Tech, our platforms can ensure you provide quick quotes and numerous options to your clients to stay ahead of the curve and the deadlines. If you have any questions on how Health In Tech can help, check out insurance broker resources, sign up for our newsletter, or contact us today. 

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