There’s only two weeks left in the current health insurance open enrollment period. As you’re looking to make important decisions that impact you and your family for the foreseeable future, take some time to review these top five considerations during healthcare open enrollment.
UNDERSTAND THE OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINES.
This year, open enrollment ends on December 15. Having begin on November 1, it’s only a seven-week period this year. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began in 2014, open enrollment has always been three months, from November 1 through January 31 with the “effective date” of the plan ranging from January 1 to March 1. The 2017 change was made so that all ACA plans would have effective dates of January 1, 2018.
DETERMINE ACCESS TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER.
Will you be able to go to your doctor? Plans change, so make sure you have provider access and understand how your doctor and/or facility networks might change. It’s very important to confirm with your doctor and local hospital that they BOTH accept and are in network for the plan you’re considering.
RANK YOUR INSURABILITY.
Are you relatively healthy? Where do you rate in terms of insurability? For those with few, if any, pre-existing health conditions, there could be many more options available outside the “realm” of the ACA plans. Many of these options have much lower premiums and deductibles.
KNOW YOUR INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLES AND COSTS.
It is very important to understand your deductibles and what expenses apply to your Max-Out-of-Pocket (MOOP). Even more important, make sure you know how prescription drugs are treated as it relates to your MOOP.
EXPLORE THE BENEFITS OF SMALL GROUP INSURANCE PLANS.
Small group or employer plans can be one of the best and most creative ways to avoid having to enroll in individual ACA plans. Under certain conditions and with the right strategies, spouses can even qualify as a two-person group. This option solves three of the issues mentioned above: provider access, high deductibles, and insurability. Group plans offer extensive networks, low deductibles, and they do not consider health conditions.
Don’t leave your healthcare to chance. Before the current open enrollment period ends, take advantage of our free 2018 Insurance Options Tips Sheet to learn more about the solutions that are best for your family.