Open enrollment during the health insurance exchange can be a confusing time, even for health insurance professionals. The Affordable Care Act was created to make getting health insurance easier and more affordable but consumers may have more questions once they get started.
Here are a few ways to help make open enrollment an easier process.
1) Review your budget
Knowing how much premium you can spend each month on health insurance will help narrow down plan choices. Plans in the exchange are categorized by Platinum, (most expensive), Gold, Silver and Bronze (least expensive). Having a budget set before hand will point you in the direction of which category you will be able to choose from. Do take into account that the benefits do change by category. Platinum and Gold categories will have the better plan benefits, however, the categories have nothing to do with the amount or quality of care you receive.
2) Review the plan options
Before you sit down to enroll, review the quotes you were given. Regardless of which category you choose, there are several plans within each category. You'll want to have an idea of which plan you are leaning towards before you sit down to enroll. The marketplace website can be very overwhelming. Having a health insurance professional walk you through it will save time and headaches.
3) Decide what benefits are important to you
Everyone has different health needs. You may just go annually for preventive care and may be pretty low maintenance. Then there are individuals who are on one to several monthly maintenance meds that may need to look at the prescription details of the plans more closely. Maybe you've had cancer or a heart attack and seeing a specialist is something you need to do monthly. You will want to look closely at that specialist co-pay, as some of the plans have higher specialist co-pays than others. Sit down and think about the past year, how often did you go to the doctor, what prescriptions did you take? Gather a snapshot of the past year for you and your family and that will help guide you in the right direction.
All plans sold through the Marketplace provide the same essential health benefits and cover pre-existing conditions and offer free preventive services. But some plans offer additional benefits. It helps to know exactly what benefits you need.
Here at The Guard Group, our goal is to make sure you have the plan that you need. We don't want anyone to choose a plan that does not meet their needs and won't cover the services they'll use.
Using a health and life navigator, will make this process easier. We can show you how!