3 Financial Dates for Your January Calendar

Man using a digital calendar on his computer
Photo by NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.

Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.

Enter our money calendar series.

In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates that are coming up in January 2020. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.

Jan. 1 — Many health insurance plans take effect

If you recently enrolled in a new 2020 health insurance plan, or re-enrolled in the plan you had for 2019, your 2020 health insurance plan likely starts Jan. 1.

For example, this is the case for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans purchased during the latest fall ACA open enrollment period, as well as Medicare plans that seniors purchased anew or re-enrolled in during the latest fall Medicare open enrollment period.

If your health insurance plan takes effect Jan. 1, make sure to put your new insurance card in your wallet.

Jan. 1 — Medicare Advantage open enrollment period starts

As if Medicare isn’t complicated enough, this federal health insurance program primarily reserved for folks age 65 and older has not one but two annual open enrollment periods.

The annual fall Medicare open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, while the annual Medicare Advantage open enrollment period runs from Jan. 1 through March 31.

Medicare Advantage, one of the two main types of Medicare, is coverage offered by private insurance companies, like HMOs and PPOs, that are approved by Medicare. (The other type, Original Medicare, is government-managed health insurance coverage.)

During this upcoming enrollment period, folks on Medicare Advantage (with or without prescription drug coverage) have the option to do one of the following:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage)
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare (with or without also enrolling in a drug plan)

To learn more about Medicare Advantage, including how it differs from Original Medicare, check out:

Jan. 26 — New U.S. Postal Service prices take effect

Price increases that the U.S. Postal Service requested in October will take effect Jan. 26.

Not all types of mailing services are affected by this round of price increases — including first-class stamps (still 55 cents) and domestic postcards (still 35 cents). But the cost for a 1-ounce outbound international letter will increase from $1.15 to $1.20.

Additionally, various flat-rate Priority Mail costs will increase. They include:

  • Small flat-rate box: $8.30 (up from $7.90)
  • Medium flat-rate box: $15.05 (up from $14.35)
  • Large flat-rate box: $21.10 (up from $19.95)
  • Army and Air Force Post Office (APO)/U.S. Navy Fleet Post Office (FPO) large flat-rate box: $19.60 (up from $18.45)
  • Regular flat-rate envelope: $7.75 (up from $7.35)
  • Legal flat-rate envelope: $8.05 (up from $7.65)
  • Padded flat-rate envelope: $8.40 (up from $8)

Would you add any dates to this list? Share in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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