Open Enrollment is finally here and you only have till December 15 to get a new coverage! Whether you are thinking of purchasing a new insurance policy or replacing a policy that did not fit your needs, HCCUA wants all members to understand that we are here to help you make the right choice.
Initially, you should evaluate what factors are most important to you and your family. Think about the following items before making a decision on your health insurance coverage:
- Are the monthly premiums within your budget?
- Pay close attention to deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance.
- Look at a plan’s network of doctors and hospitals to confirm your doctors are “in-network.” (Out of network co-pays and bills can mean a significantly higher out of pocket expense for you and health insurance isn’t very helpful if it doesn’t cover the doctors in your area.)
Make sure you select the proper marketplace. If you’re browsing through the Obamacare marketplace, remember that certain plans allow you to qualify for premium subsidies, which are applied as discounts to your monthly premium. Besides the government insurance exchanges, you may want to consider other plans available through either your employer or an insurer’s website.
Select several plans that interest you and then begin to eliminate the plans that do not meet the majority of your needs. The easiest way to narrow down your options is to take a look at your medical history and what out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred. Consider the following:
- Do you see a doctor or specialist on a regular basis?
- How many trips to the emergency have made?
- Do you take name brand medications over generic medication?
- Are you expecting a baby or plan to have a baby within the next year?
- Do you have a pre-existing condition that requires imaging procedures, such as MRI’s?
- Have you been diagnosed with a chronic condition such as diabetes or cancer?
Once you have a general understanding of your options, jot down any questions you may have for a licensed agent that is well educated in the health insurance field. Most of the time agents can provide a level of customer service that you can’t get from a website. They can help you understand how the right healthcare plan impacts you!
On a related note, according to the American Cancer Society cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US. The HCCUA has included an article on Critical Illness in our December e-Newsletter. While no one is ready to receive devastating news about having a critical illness, it helps to be prepared financially.
We have also included a recipe perfect for the holidays by Hippocratesinst.org for a Walnut Truffle/ Blondie Treat that you can make for your guests or take to a gathering. A perfect combination of light sweetness and savory decadence. Finally, we would like to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and spectacular New Years!
Kristine Eckardt, Director of Member Communications