Open Enrollment for health insurance is a little less than two months away. It might seem as though you have plenty of time before you need to think about your health insurance policy, but the decisions you make this fall will impact your budget for the next year. It’s a good idea to go ahead and start analyzing your options, so that any changes you make to your plan will take effect on January 1.
What is changing this year? Soon you should receive a notice of any premium increases, changes in your copayment, or differences in coverage for next year. It’s easy to see how premiums and copayments affect your budget, but also check to be sure your plan will still cover your the treatments, medications, or physician of your choice.
Are any of my costs increasing? It might appear on the surface that your costs are increasing, but compare your new deductible and copayments to your usage of the plan this year. Will it matter if your deductible increases, if you didn’t meet it last year anyway? If you rarely go to the doctor, a larger copayment won’t affect you as much as you think. Make sure that when you look at the figures presented by your provider, you compare them with how you actually use the plan.
Also investigate whether you are eligible to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). An HSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses, helping you to budget as well as saving you money on your income tax bill.
What do I need? Are you planning a pregnancy, or anticipating the need for surgery next year? You might be better off with a plan that carries a smaller deductible. Do you have college-aged kids who live in another state? You might prefer a PPO to an HMO. Do you want to make sure you can still see your regular doctor? Check whether he or she is covered under any plan that you consider. These are just examples. Depending upon your situation, your needs might greatly influence your choice of health insurance plan.
Are there any wellness programs are available? Many employers offer wellness programs that reward workers for losing weight, quitting smoking, and so on. You could earn a discount on premiums or some other reward for enrolling in certain programs.
We can help you answer these questions, or any other concerns about health insurance policies. Give us a call, and we will help you get ready for the upcoming Open Enrollment season.