Open Enrollment is Approaching: Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

In the vast majority of states, the ACA Special Enrollment Period (SEP) this year is set to close on August 15. With many individuals preparing to seek out their next health insurance plan, here are some tips to help people find health insurance quotes as Open Enrollment season draws near.

The Agony of Choice

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, within this year's SEP that began on February 15, more than two million people have signed up for health insurance.

Furthermore, among the new and returning consumers who have chosen a plan since April 1, "1.2 million consumers (34%) have selected a plan that costs $10 or less per month after the American Rescue Plan's premium reductions," Healthcare Finance reports. 

New customers choosing plans during the SEP can see significant benefits, as the average monthly premium after the tax credits dropped by 25% while the median deductible decreased by close to 90%.

According to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, "There's a demand for high-quality, low-cost health coverage."

Since the costs of many healthcare plans are at a record low - and with less than a month to go - people are busily checking whether they are eligible for health coverage while comparing plan offerings that adapt to the new COVID-19 reality.  

Due to the volatility generated by the pandemic, consumers this year have particular requirements, as some will want to keep their doctors and find coverage for their prescription medications, all with the lowest premium. 

Here are some essential tips to consider for the 2022 Open Enrollment period.

Do Your Research

If you have to find quotes by yourself and not through your employer, do extensive research and dedicate time to analyze the benefits in light of your needs. 

Be Open to Plan Changes

COVID-19 has changed the healthcare needs of many consumers, so it's important to be open to different coverage types and conditions from your most recent plan. You should assess costs not included in premiums such as prescription coverage, coinsurance, deductibles, and copays. Additionally, you can look at keeping your doctor and finding coverage for your prescription medication.

Check for Provider Changes

The healthcare business has changed a bit during the pandemic, with some companies closing or suspending operations. If you are looking for a specific provider or have your company preferences, it is advisable to check its availability -especially considering that most U.S. insurers are private companies.

Review Voluntary Benefits

You may want to expand your insurance coverage through voluntary benefits. Exploring options such as life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment might be wise to add up to your plan. Also, check for mental health resources, employee assistance programs (EAP) and telemedicine services.

Source: HealthMarkets

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Categories: Healthcare Insurance

Tags: Health Insurance, HealthMarkets, Open Enrollment