As we head into the busy holiday season, it’s easy to feel flustered by all there is to do in just a few short months. On that long list of to-dos is probably enrolling in a health insurance plan for next year. Don’t stress, we’re here to help you with some things to keep in mind as you pick the best plan for you during open enrollment.
What’s the Best Plan for Me?
Great question – and the plan that was right for you last year may not be the right one this year.
- Do you think you’ll be seeing the doctor more or less than in previous years? If it’s more, you should find a plan that has a higher monthly premium and lower prices for things like deductibles, copay or coinsurance when seeking care.
- Make sure to take a look at how much the deductible is. That is the amount you’ll have to pay before insurance starts paying for services. In your monthly budget, make sure you can pay for the monthly premium and 1/12th of the deductible (spread over the 12 months of the year), so you’re covering your costs.
- Will you need more prescriptions filled? If so, be sure to check your pharmacy benefits and how they cover brands versus generics. Generally speaking, generics will be less expensive. Also make sure to understand the best way to get those prescriptions filled. Sometimes it may be cheaper to get them filled at a pharmacy and other times it may be cheaper to have them mail ordered. Plans cover these details differently, so it pays to read the fine print. Also important – if you get your prescription filled, ask the pharmacist if it is cheaper to pay for it with cash rather than have it covered by insurance. It’s counter-intuitive, but it may be more cost efficient to pay by cash – so make sure to ask!
- Do you know of any planned procedures you may need? If so, make sure to check the plan’s summary of benefits to ensure you understand how it will be covered and at what cost to you.
- Do you have a preferred doctor or location where you’d like to get care? If so, double check the plan’s network to make sure it is in-network. You’ll pay more for procedures done with an out-of-network provider or at an out-of-network location. Did you know that your in-network provider can sometimes perform procedures at an out-of-network location? Yep, it happens, and when it does…you’ll pay more. Make sure both the provider and the location is covered in-network.
Where Can I Buy A Plan?
If you do not get health insurance through your employer, you can sign up for individual plans at Connect for Health Colorado. And, if you’re eligible, you may save each month on your health insurance costs. Many people don’t know they’re eligible, so make sure to check before you buy. If you need help shopping, assisters and brokers can guide you through the process for free.
How Can I Save More Money?
Another great way to save money on healthcare costs is to attend a 9Health Fair. On top of the many affordable screenings offered, there are many free ones too. You can take this information to your health care provider to save time and money on your next visit.