Capitol Correspondence - 12.10.18

Open Enrollment Deadline Dec 15 – AAPD Flags Important Questions People with Disabilities Selecting Plans

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As shared by the American Association of People with Disabilities:

“2019 Open Enrollment:
  • November 1, 2018 – Open enrollment begins
  • December 15, 2018 – Open enrollment ends
  • January 1, 2019 – Coverage begins

For many people, open enrollment is the only time to change insurance plans or buy new coverage during the year. However, you can sign up for insurance outside of open enrollment if you lose your job, get married, divorced, have a baby, or experience another major life event. You may also enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) year-round.


If you have a disability or a health condition, plan details and any annual changes matter. Be sure to ask before you select a plan:

  • Are a broad range of health care providers included in the health plan’s provider network?
  • Are there enough medical specialists in the network to meet your specific needs?
  • Are the medications you need included in the plan’s list of covered drugs? Has the cost sharing changed? Are there other requirements like prior authorization?
  • Is there adequate access to non-clinical, disability-specific services and supports?
  • Does the plan have service limits, such as caps or limits on the number of office visits, the amount of therapy services, or exclusions for medical devices?
  • Are mental health services covered to the same extent as other “physical” health benefits?

This year, there will be plans for sale in some states that are NOT required to provide all of the benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. These plans may be able to charge you more if you have a pre-existing condition, and may not offer adequate coverage for your needs or if you get sick. It is more important than ever to thoroughly review what benefits a plan offers and not only look at plans with low premiums.