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The leaves are falling, and the seasons are changing, and so is your Open Enrollment process. Whether you have been planning for it or not, SureCo is here to help you make the most informed decision. It is important to be aware of all insurance options during Open Enrollment. Here are six tips for choosing a healthcare plan.
#1. Know When You Need to Enroll by | 2022 Deadlines by State
The general open enrollment timeline for medical coverage begins November 1, 2021 and ends January 15, 2022. However, for the coverage dates that start on January 1, 2022, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2021. Due to the country’s circumstances in the past few years, some states have graciously extended their Open Enrollment periods. Keep in mind that not all states are applying this rule. Below is a map of states and their Open Enrollment dates.
Note: You must experience a qualifying life event outside the Open Enrollment periods to be eligible for special enrollment rights.
#2. Always Review Your Plan Options | Even if You Like Your Current One
The grass can be greener on the other side with healthcare plans. Changes happen throughout life, so it is important to proceed with the potential of them happening in mind. That way, you get the best value of care your budget and safeguards you from unexpected life events.
Even if life stays same, you should note that premiums are known to fluctuate year to year. You may find a plan with similar benefits and a lower monthly premium. You might also find that your current plan’s premium decreased.
Do NOT get rolled into the same plan if the following life events occurred in the past year or may occur in the next year: marriage or divorce, childbirth, citizenship change, residence change, income change, prison release, or death occurrence.
#3. Know Your Projected Yearly Cost
Your instinct might be to focus on the monthly premium payment when evaluating and choosing a plan. But you need to put the entire picture into perspective. Besides your monthly payments, you need to evaluate your deductibles, copayments, and Rx needs.
Want to know how to calculate your yearly cost? — Click here to find out how and more!
#4. Consider How Much Healthcare You Use
Another factor to consider when choosing a healthcare plan is how much you use your benefits. Your age is typically a useful proxy for predicting your health care needs. A plan with higher out-of-pocket costs and lower monthly premiums might be better if you are in good health and do not visit the doctor frequently.
Out-of-pocket costs are another critical factor to take into consideration. You can find this out by looking at your plan’s summary of benefits. The out-of-pocket maximum is also listed with your plan information.
Seven Questions to Ask Yourself:
#5. Be Cautious of Too Good to Be True Benefit Plans | Know the Difference Between Long-Term and Short-Term plans
Short-term insurance is a temporary solution with limitations. The states do not regulate short-term policies, so they do not have to comply with the consumer protections laid out in the Affordable Care Act. This means that insurance companies can refuse to offer these policies to people with pre-existing health problems or charge people more who are likely to need maintenance medications and health care. These short-term plans also may not cover prenatal care and mental health treatment. Short-term insurance can be beneficial for some individuals but may not meet all health insurance needs.
Note: Also, avoid plans that advertise $0 deductible. They can have hidden costs such as a $1000 charge for hospitalization.
#6. Take Advantage of Expert Resources
Choosing the right plan at an affordable price is something that requires time and research. It can be confusing and overwhelming. Fear not! A trained professional who is a certified expert on all available options can advise you on choosing the best possible healthcare program.
Reach out to one of our licensed professionals for guidance on choosing the right plan for you.
Healthcare 101, Health Care Guides, Health Insurance Plans