The dawning of November means the beginning of open enrollment. If you are new to the process or you’re looking to make it a much easier process than you’ve experienced, that is what this blog is all about!
While the idea of turkey and stuffing is on the minds of most of our readers, November is an incredibly busy month for us and it has nothing to do with picking out what sides to match our turkey or the perfect pumpkin pie. While these are things we still make time for and hope you get a ton of enjoyment out of, November for all of us at Abri means one thing; Open Enrollment! While we want you to enjoy the most out of your Thanksgiving and the last bit of fall here in Summerville, if your insurance plan is expiring and you will be needing new health insurance coverage, we hope you make open enrollment one of your priorities over the next month. We are here to help you through every step of this process and want to make it an extremely pain-free experience. That is why we wanted to dedicate this blog to multiple ways on how you can make it a pain-free process and what some of the best ways to handle open enrollment are. Don’t stress, you’ve got this!
Open enrollment for 2021 began on November 1st and it ends on December 15th. Every year you only have a little over a month to search for, research, and choose your next best healthcare plan. Just a tad overwhelming. For our readers new to the blog and the insurance world, you might be curious about what open enrollment actually is. According to the dictionary, open enrollment is “a period of time during which one may freely enroll in or change one’s selection of health insurance plan or other benefit programs that is ordinarily subject to restrictions.” The short version is that your health insurance plan is expiring and it’s time to get a new one. Sounds relatively easy, right? Well, we are here to make it as simple and as easy for our clients as we possibly can. Sadly, this is not the case for everyone.
Enrollment is a short period that pushes people to pick their plans very rapidly and has also been created to limit adverse selection. What makes it hard, even when you know all year that you have a short period to buy your plan, getting information about what your options are and what’s available to you can be difficult to find or very confusing. That’s where we can come in. If you are looking for an independent plan on the marketplace and outside of what your employers may or may not be offering, we can search the whole market with you and your family’s needs and best intentions in mind. This can help you save time, save stress, save money, and help guarantee that all of you and your family’s needs will be taken care of.
While you begin your journey and begin the search for health insurance, we wanted to provide you with a list of tips and suggestions on what to be thinking about and what to avoid while you’re searching in the market.
- Don’t be fooled, please be in the know. Many insurance plans can simply be rolled over into the upcoming year, but that’s not always the case. Please don’t just assume that this is how it will be for you. Pay close attention to your policy and know if you will need to be looking for a new plan or not. Also, pay attention and discuss with your policyholder that even if you’re rolling your policy over, double-check if anything is changing in your policy before you blindly decide to roll over your plan for this upcoming year.
- Be aware of what kind of needs you and your family require and know how much you can pay for any out of pocket expenses, and know what kind of deductible will be best for your family. When considering a new plan, please take note of what services and plans your family needs. Are all of you relatively healthy or do each of you need consistent doctor visits? Is there a type of coverage that you want outside of basic medical care in your plan? Is there a set of doctors that you love and they are inspiring you to remain in their network? All of these questions need to be answered with your family and will dictate what you need to purchase. Don’t buy an incorrect plan just because it’s a good deal. Also, beware of low monthly payments and high deductibles. You might find a plan that has a low monthly rate, but that will more than likely be linked to an impossibly high deductible. This might be a great month to month expense for you, but you might end up spending more than you needed to reach your coverage or get the plan you needed, but instead, you’re paying a ton out of pocket and never reaching your deductible.
- While it is hard to find the best doctor for you and your family, it might be more expensive to stay with a previous doctor especially when you’re not even visiting them that often. Sometimes choosing to stick with a certain set of doctors means choosing an expensive plan that you don’t even really need to have. Sometimes it is worth switching plans and doctors to save you and your family some serious money!
- Think about big changes that could be heading towards you and your family when choosing your next plan. Are you planning on having a baby in the upcoming year or possibly leaving or starting a new job? Is a child going off to college or are you and your spouse about to retire? No matter what big changes are heading your way, make sure you are aware of how each of these changes will affect your life and make sure your new potential plan reflects the support and care that you need to for these new chapters in your life
Now that you’ve read through this blog, are you feeling better about open enrollment? Regardless if you are or not, please remember that we are here to help. We know that you have many difficult questions to ask yourself to make sure you and your family are covered and cared for. We are here to do the rest of the heavy lifting once those decisions are made. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us now before open enrollment closes! We are excited to work with you and love being a part of the Summerville community!