- Posted by Canopy KC
- On December 2, 2015
- 0 Comments
Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and hopefully your Mother in Law’s birthday are all dates that are easy to recollect when needed and so should, January 31st, 2016, the deadline for open enrollment to obtain individual health insurance coverage. For most, the term Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is easy to understand. It states that health insurance coverage is available to everyone, and health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Now, the hard part as a consumer is making an informed decision. Health insurance can be simple and understanding how to avoid the dangers of being careless when signing up for individual health insurance should be too.
How to Avoid Being Careless When Signing Up For Health Insurance
Knowledge is Power:
Healthcare rules and laws change often and it may be worth doing research on creditable websites such as healthcare.gov or consumerreports.org, prior to making an insurance decision.
Identify your “in network” vs. your “out of network” providers and in this case, stick to the “in” crowd. Being careless with your provider choices may result in medical bills beyond your wildest dreams.
HMO vs. PPO (to name a few)? In a nutshell, an HMO or Health Maintenance Organization means that you are required to select a primary care doctor and will also require referrals and insurance approval to see a specialist of any kind. PPO or Preferred Provider Organization generally allows increased flexibility in choosing providers and allows you to see a specialist without a referral but at a higher out of pocket cost.
When choosing a plan that works for you, it is important to factor in a budget for out of pocket expenses such as the premium or monthly bill to your insurance company (whether you use your insurance or not) and the deductible or the total out of pocket expense you are responsible for prior to your insurance covering any medical treatment.
Overconfidence in your health:
“I am never sick. I don’t need health insurance.” Do not commit this careless act, health insurance is available and affordable to everyone and being without it could mean the difference between sitting at the adult table and sitting at the kids table at your next holiday meal. There are plans available that will fit your individual needs as a healthy adult.
Don’t wait until the last minute:
A deadline is a deadline and in the case of open enrollment, it is January 31st, 2016. With that being said the deadline to make a change to your already existing plan is different. It would be wise to visit your insurance provider’s website, or insurance broker to identify and confirm any changes and mandatory date. It is not safe to assume that a renewal will occur automatically either; make reviewing your health insurance annually a priority. If you choose to complete this process online, patience is virtuous because you surely will not be the only one trying to access the website on January 30th.
It Never Hurts to Ask:
The number one tip to avoid the dangers of being careless when signing up for health insurance is if you have a question, ask! Seek assistance from a professional licensed insurance broker. It is their job to understand the inner workings of insurance companies, when laws change, why a PPO would or would not work for you, and will assist you in making the most informed decision to guarantee health insurance coverage for 2016.
Seize the day! Educate yourself, find the right plan, ask questions, avoid being careless, sit at the adult table, be covered.
Happy Holidays from the professionals at: