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Comparing Health Insurance Rates During Open Enrollment

Medicare.Whether you’re covered under an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, or purchase your own policy through Covered California, November 15 will mark the beginning of this year’s Open Enrollment period. During Open Enrollment, you can make changes to your current plan or (depending upon your circumstances) enroll in a new policy.

If you haven’t been satisfied with your health insurance plan, the Open Enrollment period gives you a chance to make changes that will best benefit your family. Even if you’re happy with your plan, there may still be room for improvement. Consider the following five factors before renewing your current policy or deciding upon a new one.

1) Are you comfortable with your deductible? A lower deductible means lower out-of-pocket costs, but a higher premium at the same time. Some families find that they would prefer one or the other, but it will depend upon your healthcare bills as well as your comfort with monthly premiums.

2) Do you anticipate higher medical bills next year? If you’re planning a pregnancy or surgical procedures look likely, you’ll want to be sure those services are covered and that you’re comfortable with your portion of the bill. Otherwise, you may need to switch to a plan with better coverage.

3) Is your favorite doctor in-network? Using out-of-network doctors will often increase your out-of-pocket expenses. Make sure your preferred doctor is covered by your insurance company’s network.

4) Do you need dental or vision coverage? It’s often not very expensive to add dental and other age-related vision problems will be covered.

5) Are your prescriptions covered? If your out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions are too high, talk to your doctor about alternatives that are better covered by your insurance plan. Alternatively, you may consider switching to a health insurance policy that offers better coverage for the medications you need.