With health insurance Open Enrollment looming, we all have some choices to make. Right now is the perfect time to begin gathering your medical spending records from the previous year, considering your overall budget for next year, and talking with your doctor about upcoming needs. Weighing your spending (on premiums, deductibles, and co-pays) against the alternatives (different plans with higher or lower premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums) can feel overwhelming. But essentially, when the process is finished, you will end up choosing one of the three following paths:
Update your information in the system. Regardless of what you decide to do about the next two choices on this list, everyone needs to update their personal information in the system. Most importantly, remember to file correct information regarding your income, so that your subsidy (if you receive one) is calculated correctly.
Change to a different health insurance plan. Each year, insurers tweak current plans and even develop news ones according to consumer demand. So, even if your current plan was the best choice for your family last Fall, there might be a better option out there now. Compare all the plans available to you, keeping in mind that higher-tier plans come with larger premiums but smaller deductibles. This might matter to you, if you think major expenses are coming your way sometime in the next year. Of course, the opposite might be true, and you might benefit from switching to a lower-premium, higher-deductible plan if you expect your needs to be minimal.
Keep your current health insurance plan. After evaluating the alternatives and considering your budget, you might find that your current plan is still the best one for you. That’s great news, as you can simply allow it to renew. But don’t guess at this important decision; it really is important to shop around first, because there might be a better deal out there. And remember, you still need to update your financial information within the system.
So, how long do you have, before you need to make your final selection? First, be on the lookout for two notices to arrive in your mailbox by November 1. One will be from your insurance provider, and the other from Covered California. These letters will explain your coverage for 2019, and will offer tips for the enrollment period. Health Insurance Open Enrollment began on October 15, and runs through January 15 of 2019. So, you still have time, but remember to call us if you need help. We can assist you in comparing your options and deciding upon a plan that best suits your needs.