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Tips to Help You Prepare for Open Enrollment

Looking for a new plan this fall? Enrolling may be easier than you think with our tips on how to prepare for open enrollment.

Man on phone, open enrollment tips


When you aren’t protected by a health plan, you might worry about getting in an accident or even going to the doctor for routine care. You can take steps to protect yourself from ending up without health insurance, and enrolling on a plan may be easier than you think.


Related: Confused by Insurance Terms?

What exactly is open enrollment? “It’s the time each year when people can enroll on a health plan,” says Heidi Castaneda, SelectHealth Individual/Small Employer Sales Director. “Outside of open enrollment, you can only enroll if you have a qualifying life event.”

How to Prepare for Open Enrollment

Plan ahead

Plan to renew your existing health plan or choose a new one during open enrollment. You will receive a reminder and instructions on how to renew your plan—read these materials carefully. Open enrollment began November 1 and runs through December 15, 2019.

Now is a good time to rerun the numbers from last year and assess your known healthcare needs for 2020. Be sure to look at the plan options and determine whether you qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) or Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR). It might be more cost effective for you to change to a different plan type or reconsider your deductible options. Both options can lower your out-of-pocket costs.

With an APTC, the government will help pay for your premium (the amount you pay each month to your health insurer for your plan). CSRs can improve your benefits so you spend less overall.

“Many people are surprised to learn about the differences between plans and happy that they may qualify for help paying for their family’s health coverage,” Castaneda says. She advises people to be proactive in asking questions when they don’t understand their plan options. For example, how an out-of-pocket maximum works and when co-pays and deductibles apply.

Ask us

Many people don’t know what type of coverage they have until it’s too late to change. “We are committed to helping people make sure they find a plan that meets their needs—we genuinely want our members to be happy with the plan they choose,” says Castaneda.

Related: Now That You're Enrolled, What Happens Next? 

When you are signing up for a new plan, be prepared with your previous year’s tax and income information. Use a tool like this one to learn more about how you could save money.  

Call for assistance

If you have questions, or need help choosing a plan, call us at 855-442-0220 or visit selecthealth.org to get more information about upcoming open enrollment events near you. In addition, assistance is available in Utah through the Association for Utah Community Health (801-974-5522) and Take Care Utah (takecareutah.org). In Idaho, assistance is available through Your Health Idaho (855-944-3246) and the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare (idalink.idaho.gov/).


SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Jordan Gaddis

Jordan is an accomplished copywriter and editor with ten years' experience in marketing and communications. She loves reading and writing, she is a self-proclaimed word and grammar nerd, and she loves to bake, cook, hike, and practice yoga.