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The open enrollment period for Health Insurance begins on November 1, which means its time to begin looking into your insurance options for 2018.

Even if you're currently happy with your health insurance coverage, you really need to meet with an insurance agent to fully analyze your options. Individual plans can change every year. These changes can range from an increase in premium to reducing the amount the insurance company will pay for specific services. After talking with an agent, you may find out that your current plan is the best option for you and your family. However, by speaking with an agent, you can ensure that your plan meets your individual health needs.

In order to help prepare you for Open Enrollment, here are 5 questions you should be asking before purchasing a health insurance plan:

Do I still need to buy health insurance?

Yes. The Affordable Care Act is still in effect, which means you're required to have health insurance either through your employer, insurance agent or through the Healthcare Marketplace. If you don't want to use your employer's plan, your best option is to meet with an insurance agent. An agent can help you understand your options and can even navigate the Marketplace for you, if there's a plan that fits your needs.

Is there anything different about this Open Enrollment that will affect me?

Yes. The deadline to enroll was moved up to December 15 as opposed to December 31 last year. 

Will I be able to see my regular doctor?

Most plans have In-Network and Out-of-Network coverage, so you should be able to receive treatment from your doctor of choice. However, it's best to meet with your insurance agent, as they can help make sure that the plans you're considering include your current doctor.

I've read that several health insurers are leaving the Marketplace. Do I need to be concerned?

Yes, especially if you're a Florida resident.

Leaving the Marketplace doesn't just affect people looking to switch insurance plans. Don't make the mistake of believing that choosing to stay with your current plan will keep you safe if a company. 

If your current carrier leaves the Marketplace, you will be left without coverage, even if you had a policy last year. In 2016, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare, two of the larger health insurance companies in the United States, pulled out of the Marketplace, which drastically reduced the coverage options available to Florida residents.

Will I still be able to get financial assistance to help pay my premium?

Yes. An insurance agent can help find a subsidy usually in the form of a tax credit that can help lower your monthly premium.

What other questions do you have about buying health insurance? Ask away in the comment section. Please don't hesitate to contact Dawn Moore, for all of your health insurance needs.

 

Posted 11:48 AM  View Comments

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