As we've learned over the past few years, putting off health insurance until the last week of Open Enrollment has proven to be something of a nightmare for many. And while the way we buy or manage coverage has seen many changes, the limited timeframe is clearly one that's caused a great deal of stress. Cramming a full year of healthcare services into three months inevitably results in high service volume towards the cut-off date. This can make getting personalized service very difficult, as agents, carriers, servers and phone lines become increasingly inundated.
Here are some reasons why waiting until the very last minute to renew, change or purchase your healthcare plan can be a bad idea.
Long Hold Times
Most will agree that calling your carrier typically means being placed on hold or in a substantial call que. Now picture tens of thousands calling in to ask questions and make changes all within a matter of a two or three days. The closer we get to health insurance deadlines, the more jammed the phone lines become. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be don't consider this a valid excuse for not purchasing coverage. Aside from not being covered, you could also be fined for ACA non-compliance.
For three years in a row now, we've watched as the marketplace website was slammed with people attempting to log on during the final days. If you're planning on signing up online, we strongly advise not waiting until zero hour. During open enrollment the busiest times are the 10th to the 15th of December and January, as well as the last week of January. The system is only designed to accommodate a certain volume of web traffic, so enrolling prior to peak volume periods is a smart move.
Overwhelmed Agents and Brokers
It's not uncommon for people to visit the marketplace website first, then call their carrier, only to end up looking for an agent. The problem here is that agents, just like phone lines and website servers, get overwhelmed during the final days of enrollment. And while most agents will do everything they can to get back to you quickly, it's not a failsafe. It's worth mentioning again that not being able to get through won't protect you from fines or non-coverage. The best way to avoid health insurance nightmares is to take care of it early while others are putting the process on the backburner.
Avoid the Stress of Health Insurance Deadlines
At Premier Financial Insurance in Lisle, we're well aware of the healthcare-related frustration that can come from waiting until the absolute last minute. Whether you're looking for coverage with lower premiums, need to buy a new plan, or are considering a health insurance subsidy, we strongly encourage not putting the process off. We staff a team of licensed IL agents who know the system extensively, and there are no fees for our Open Enrollment services.
To speak with one of our agents or schedule a time to meet at our location or yours, give Premier a call at 800-369-0287. There's never an obligation to purchase coverage from us, and we'll do everything we can to make the enrollment process simple and more affordable.