Open Enrollment — What It Is and Why It Matters
It’s that time of year when everything in Kansas City is football, fall festivals, and Blue KC open enrollment. If you’re not familiar with open enrollment period or how to navigate it, this cheat sheet is a good place to start.
Of course, this isn’t all there is to know about open enrollment. Call us at the number on your member ID card to find out more about your specific health plan or account.
1. What Is Open Enrollment Period?
Open enrollment period (OEP) is when you can select or change your medical, dental, and vision benefits for the upcoming year. For 2023, OEP is November 1, 2022 – January 15, 2023.
If you decide to change to a different Blue KC plan, please make your selection by December 15, which will ensure your plan is effective January 1, 2023. Plan changes made between December 16 and January 15 will be effective February 1, 2023.
2. How will I know when to renew my plan and how do I do it?
Around the beginning of November, you will receive a mailer from Blue KC that tells you everything you need to know about renewing your plan or selecting a new one. If we have your email, you also will receive emails throughout November and December which will link you directly to your health plan information and include easy instructions for renewing or changing plans.
3. What If I Don’t Want to Change My Benefits?
You aren’t required to change your plan unless it’s no longer offered. It’s important to review your coverage options each year. Prices and plan coverage, along with lifestyle and individual health, are constantly changing. You should make sure your existing plan is still the best for you in terms of coverage and cost.
4. What If I forget to renew?
Blue KC Individual and Family plans include automatic renewal. If you miss the opportunity to renew or change to a new plan, don’t worry. You will be automatically renewed into similar coverage for 2023 with no lapse in coverage. But it’s important to not rely on automatic renewal. While the coverage you will be automatically renewed into will have similar coverage, your cost and coverage details may be different than your current plan, so review your options carefully.
5. How Should I Prepare for OEP?
Before the start of OEP, determine what coverage you’ll need in the coming year. Consider:
- Are your prescriptions and preferred providers covered under your current plan?
- Did you take full advantage of your plan in 2022?
- If your plan includes Spira Care, are you getting the most out of its exclusive access to Spira Care Centers? (See “My plan includes Spira Care. What is this and how do I renew it?” below)
- Do you have upcoming health needs (surgery, medication change, etc.) or changes to your medical history or family situation that require more or less coverage?
- Which benefits are most important to you?
You also need to know how much you want to spend. It’s important to consider the full annual cost of coverage, including premiums, copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses.
6. My plan includes Spira Care. What is this and how do I renew it?
Blue KC Individual and Family Plan’s with Spira Care give you exclusive access to Spira Care Centers across the Kansas City metro, where you can receive advanced primary care services under one roof – at no or low cost.
At Spira Care you will be a partner in your healthcare along with your Care Team of doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, behavioral health consultants, health coaches, diabetes educators, and Care Guides. Spira Care Centers offer:
- Routine Preventive Care
- Sick Care
- Chronic Medical Condition Management
- Behavioral Health Consultations
- Digital X-Rays
- Routine Lab Draws
- Diabetes Education and Health Coaching
When you renew, make sure you choose one of our Choice plans – Choice Silver 5000, Choice Silver 6000, Choice Bronze 7000, Choice Bronze 8700 – for continued access to advanced primary care at Spira Care Centers.