The benefit period is the time from beginning to end that an insurance benefit is effective.
Employees can elect coverage just before the benefit period begins, during a time period called open enrollment. Employees can enroll outside of open enrollment if they have a qualifying life event.
- Most benefit periods last 12 months.
- The benefit period is used to determine when the deductible and annual maximum reset.
- Lifetime maximums do not reset at the start of a new benefit period.
- A benefit period that starts in January is often referred to as “calendar year.”