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Health Insurance Checklist

Health Insurance Checklist

Every year, more and more American’s have access to affordable health insurance coverage that is either provided by their employer or purchased through the government’s healthcare marketplace; a marketplace made available from the Affordable Care Act, a piece of legislation passed by President Barack Obama. In the first year of its enactment, the ACA increased the number of insured American’s by 8.8 million, and that number continues to grow, with the marketplace insuring over 10 million residents every year. But, with so many options on the market, it can get a little confusing at times to choose the right plan for you or your family. So, before you purchase your first or next health insurance plan, here are a few things to make sure you know.  

 

Open Enrollment 

For those purchasing their health Insurance through the government marketplace, the first thing you want to be aware of is when open enrollment begins and ends. Open enrollment is the time when adults 18 and older who don’t currently have health insurance through work or their parents to purchase health insurance from the government. Typically, this period is from November to February although policies are subject to change. Special enrollment is available for people who lost their insurance after open registration due to a loss of employment or losing health insurance from their parents due to their lack of employment or turning 26 years old. Make sure to check the period for open enrollment or if you qualify for special enrollment.  

 

Review Your Options 

Although sometimes seemingly limited, the number of health insurance options can be challenging to navigate if you aren’t sure what exactly it is that you’re looking for. Some things to keep in mind while shopping for health insurance is making sure it’s ACA compliant. This advice is mostly for people looking for insurance on the open market, where plans can be misleading about the amount of coverage they have and are typically viewed as a bandage for the short term or as a supplement to a more extensive plan. When purchasing insurance through the ACA marketplace, plans available will meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act.  

Another thing to consider is the cost of the plan, monthly, what the copay is for different providers, and how much the deductible is going to set you back if there is any at all. Is the monthly payment one you can afford? In some cases, plans will be able to include subsidies for lower-income residents. Are you able to cover the cost of the copay? Some people find themselves not using their plan because even the cost of the copay is too expensive. And maybe the most important financial question to ask yourself is, can I cover the cost of the deductible? Deductibles on insurance plans can range from $0 to 10,000 dollars. These deductibles are the cost of medical treatment the consumer needs to cover before receiving assistance from the insurance company. So, when choosing the plan that is right for you, it is essential to consider the cost of the deductible and other out of pocket expenses before putting pen to paper.  

 

Understand the Policy 

Once you have a few options that are in your price range, make sure you understand the details of each plans policy, what it covers and what it doesn’t. Many of these policies will provide you with more information before purchasing, but it’s best to speak to someone who knows the plans and can walk you through what options are right for you. If you don’t understand a policy or what it covers don’t sign, it’s important to know what your coverage entails before trusting it with your health.  

 

You’re Ready to Go 

Once you’ve accomplished all these tasks, you should be ready to decide and purchase your health insurance plan. By this time, you should know the range of your plans coverage, and how much it is going to cost you. At this point, you are now ready to choose your plan and begin your enrollment. Once you’re covered, feel the freedom that comes with the peace of mind health insurance provides you, keeping your health enough to take on whatever life has in store for you. 

A Note from CEO Shane Foss

“Hooray Health’s ancillary benefits are designed to enhance employee care with the coverage that matters most. Instead of breaking the bank on expensive and unnecessary options, Hooray puts employee needs first at the lowest cost possible. It’s the best way we’ve found to support average Americans afford quality care.
If you’re curious about how Hooray Health can support your team, click the link below and you can set up a call with Christopher White, our Director of Strategic Consulting, for a brief introductory call.”