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Ask The Insurance Decoder

Lynne Lucio

Lynne Lucio

By Lynne Lucio

Q. Please explain what Open Enrollment is.  Thank you.—Darryl J., Mira Monte, CA
A. Annual enrollment (also known as open enrollment or open season) is a period of time that usually, but not always, occurs once a year.  This is the time that employees of companies and organizations can make addition, changes or deletions to their health insurance coverage.  In most cases, changes to an employee’s health coverage can only be made during open enrollment or when they experience a qualifying event that allows them to make a change.  This type of change is known as a life event and is triggered by a birth, marriage, death, divorce or loss of other coverage.
During open enrollment, employers generally communicate the options for the benefit plans they offer so eligible employees can make changes.  Sometimes all of the benefit vendors are present at a group presentation or benefits fair, where they present and explain details of their products to prospective enrollees.

ASK The Insurance Decoder © Copyright 2012, Lynne Lucio.  All rights reserved.  
Lynne Lucio, the author of The Insurance Decoder:  How to Maximize Your Health Insurance Benefits, Minimize Out-Of-Pocket Expenses and Stay One step Ahead of Your Insurance Company, has been a health insurance professional for over 20 years.  As an insurance insider, Lynne learned how to decipher the medical claims labyrinth and developed the specific and practical knowledge of the claims process.  Throughout her career, Lynne has shared her expertise with thousands of insured consumers, helping them resolve complicated health claims while showing them how to take full advantage of their health insurance benefits.  The depth and breadth of Lynne’s knowledge of the topic encompasses not only the claims process but also the laws that influence and regulate health coverage, including ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, USERRA, HIPAA and others.  Lynne provides consulting services to covered individuals and writes about health insurance issues on (  For more information, or to submit your own health insurance related questions, contact Lynne at

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