As Open Enrollment for 2016 is fast approaching do you know what to look for when selecting your health insurance? Many Americans are unsure what they are getting when they enroll in their plan until they go to use services and realize that they are under-insured. Consumer Reports highlights three key points to go over as you select your healthcare plan.
First off “What does the plan cover?” With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) each health plan must cover certain items including: maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance-abuse treatment, preventative services, and pediatric services including dental and vision care. These are just some items that are required to be covered by your insurance. If you want to see exactly what your plan includes look at the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. It can be confusing at times even as you are trying to keep yourself informed.
Second Consumer Reports recommends knowing what your plan costs, not only what your premium costs are but to be familiar with your out of pocket maximums and deductibles. These will all be defined in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage as well. Make sure you know what you will be paying for each type of insurance. If you are ever in doubt you can always contact your insurance provider to make sure your service is covered at the rate you believe it will be.
Third they recommend being familiar with which providers are part of your health plan. Not all providers are included in each health plans network. Moreover you need to continue to keep yourself up to date on this information as a provider that was in network when you started your health plan may not still be in network when you go for services.
I highly recommend contacting a broker as you are looking at all of your health plan options this upcoming Open Enrollment. Brokers are typically free to consult with and can help you understand the ins and outs of the options you are considering. Be informed and be prepared so that you know exactly what your health plan includes.
Have you worked with a broker to help you understand your health plan in the past? Do you understand your current health plan?
Read the full article on Consumer Reports HERE