Open vs. Annual Enrollment

What is the difference between open enrollment and annual enrollment?

Open enrollment is when Americans enroll or change freely their ‘health insurance plan or other benefit program’ (source) whereas annual enrollment is a time period “usually but not always occurring once per year, when employees of companies and organizations may make changes to their elected fringe benefit options, such as health insurance” (medical, vision, dental) as well as life and supplemental insurance plans. (source)

Both 2019 open and annual enrollment periods will start on November 1, 2018 and remain open until December 15, 2018. During this time individuals and employees respectively can enroll in new healthcare plans, re-enroll in existing benefit plans or change insurance plans all together. However, if left to the last minute, it can be stressful and often lead to hasty decisions or worse expensive mistakes.

While procrastination is commonly human, when it comes to finding good benefits for yourself and your employees, it’s prudent to think about your individual/company insurance needs and employers should start thinking about fine-tuning their benefits plans now.

From an employer’s perspective, good human resource management, especially in today’s marketplace where finding and retaining employees is very competitive, often comes down to offering thoughtful employee health benefit options and can make all the difference in keeping or attracting good talent to your company.

Our benefits brokers are located in Mount Vernon and Seattle where we have served greater Seattle area small and midsize companies for over 35 years. We understand healthcare is complicated. We are here to help.

In Seattle please contact Courtney Flores at: (206) 910-4630 and/or call our main office at:(360) 419-9999

Group Benefits Northwest Team

Group Benefits Northwest is a benefits and health insurance broker for small to midsized companies. Family owned and operated, we have proudly served Seattle and surrounding area businesses, since 1982. Leveraging over 35 years experience, we specialize in providing Group Medical, Dental, Disability Income, Life Insurance and Executive Benefit Plans. Our team have developed working relationships with key service providers to further support our clients’ business needs. These include accounting, legal, payroll, as well as compliance services such as Section 125 plans HSA, HRA, FSA and COBRA.