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Special Enrollment Period

Is there a Dental & Vision Special Enrollment Opportunity?

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Yes.

UnitedHealthcare has announced a Dental & Vision Special Enrollment Opportunity to enroll employees who previously did not enroll in Dental and/or Vision coverage. The one-time opportunity will be limited to those employees who previously waived coverage or did not elect coverage for themselves or their dependents (e.g., spouses or children).

Get the details.

Where can I find information on the recent COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period for medical plans?

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UnitedHealthcare’s FAQs on the Special Enrollment Period has answers to many questions.

What can the employer offer during the special open enrollment?

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UnitedHealthcare has extended the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to April 13, and employers* with multiple plan options also can buy down to a leaner plan. Options include:

Add a special open enrollment for members who previously waived coverage, including dependents, to provide additional access to care. Employers can do this without introducing any new plans from March 23 -April 13 (extended from April 6). Employers will continue to contribute to the cost of the coverage, and coverage will be effective April 1.

1. Buy down to a leaner plan:

2. Add a lean plan design but no SEP: Consistent with the buy-down approach, employers will have until May 31 to add a lean benefit. In that instance, existing members can move to the new lean plan design. No other benefit changes are permitted. New enrollees previously waiving coverage are excluded beyond the April 13 cutoff for SEP.

Learn more.

Which products are in scope for the SEP?

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The SEP is limited to medical, pharmacy, dental and vision. All other products are not part of the special enrollment program.

Learn more.

If an insured employer has only a single benefit plan, but wants to change the plan mid-year to a leaner plan design to save money will UnitedHealthcare allow it?

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Yes. Between March 23rd and May 31st, employers have one chance to buy down their benefit plan. The group’s effective date will not change, and the new plan will become effective between April 1 – June 1, depending on timing of plan change request. Follow standard off-cycle plan change process.

Learn more.

Can a multi-option employer add an additional lean plan design and conduct a Special Open Enrollment?

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Yes, between March 23rd and May 31st, UnitedHealthcare will not impose any fully insured policy limitations on employer /plan sponsors who want to:

  1. allow new enrollees (i.e. eligible individuals that previously declined group coverage during open enrollment) the opportunity to enroll in any plan option available under the employer/plan sponsor’s benefit offerings, and/or
  2. allow existing enrollees (i.e. those who are currently enrolled in a benefit offering) the opportunity to change their prior election and enroll in a newly added leaner plan design. As always, UnitedHealthcare encourage plan sponsors to review any changes to their plan with their employee benefit plan counsel and/or tax advisor. The group’s effective date will not change, and the new plan will become effective between April 1 – June 1, depending on timing of plan change request. Follow standard off-cycle plan change process.

Learn more.

Can California extend the Open Enrollment for CA HMO products to April 13?

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Yes. This date extension only applies to United Healthcare group CA HMO products.

Learn more.

Is there a special open enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 National Emergency?

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To assist members in accessing care in light of COVID-19, United Healthcare is providing its fully insured small and large employer customers with a Special COVID-19 Enrollment Opportunity to enroll employees who previously did not to enroll in coverage. The opportunity will be limited to those employees who previously did not elect coverage for themselves (spouses or children) or waived coverage. See Notice of Special COVID-19 Enrollment Opportunity (English) and Notice of Special COVID-19 Enrollment Opportunity (Spanish) document for details.

Learn more.

If an insured customer has multiple plan options and opts into the Special Open Enrollment, can current members change plans?

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No. The Special Open Enrollment period is NOT intended to allow members to change plan options. The Special Open Enrollment is merely waiving policy restrictions on adding new enrollees outside of open enrollment or the normal special enrollment period. The employer-sponsored group health plan will decide if they want to offer the option for new entrants to the plan. Learn more.

If an insured employer has only a single benefit plan, but wants to change the plan mid-year to a leaner plan design to save money will UnitedHealthcare allow it?

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Yes. During the next 90 days, and one time only, if an employer wishes to buy down their benefit plan, UnitedHealthcare will allow it. The group’s effective date will not change. Learn more.