Open enrollment. Those two words make me really nervous! Can you explain it simply so I make sure I don’t mess it all up?
We get you. There’s so much information out there, it really can get overwhelming. Let’s work through it together!
Open enrollment is a period of time when employees and individuals can elect or change benefits available through employers, medicare and state and federal healthcare exchanges. It’s usually anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, typically in the late fall/early winter.
Here are some simple things to consider when making your choices:
– Are your doctors going to accept the plan you are choosing? If you aren’t sure, call their offices and ask. If you are switching from an employer plan to an individual plan, make sure you iron this out. Each plan is different, even if the carrier is the same.
– What is the prescription drug coverage and has it changed? Specifically consider medications that you take. Are generics or lower-cost alternatives covered? Can you still get them at your pharmacy? Do you have to switch to buying them online in 90-day supplies? These are questions worth asking in advance.
– Make sure the out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and copayments are clear to you.
– Do any of the plans have extra benefits? Dental, vision, life and disability insurance or wellness programs could be examples. Be sure to get what you’re paying for.
– Has the provider or employer added technology solutions to help you manage your coverage? Features like cost calculators, handy apps and web-based portals can be convenient and take some of the guesswork out of the equation. Reach out to support teams to help you walk through these features.
We’re trying to cover a lot of ground in our quest to be your hub for ideas and inspiration as you Discover Your Next. We hope our content is thought-provoking and that it raises some questions as you keep planning for an active, engaged life. Ask them here and we’ll publish some answers!