By Shaun Young, founder & CEO of Ardina
Open enrollment is now in full swing until the end of January – which is the time when insurance carriers are required to accept all applicants. As it is generally held once a year, it is critical that small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers and everyone in between, make the most of this process, and act swiftly to make the right decision. According to Healthcare.gov, more than 45 million Americans are eligible to enroll in health insurance; however, a 2014 study found over 40 percent of uninsured Americans said they were confused about last year’s health insurance enrollment process.
As a result, we’ve developed a list of our top tips to help every American better understand how to select the right healthcare plan that meets their needs.
1. Make the Deadline.
The last date for Open Enrollment is January 31; so start researching your options now to ensure you don’t miss the cut off date.
2. Run the Numbers.
Take a look at the entire health benefits package, including your deductible, monthly payment and tax implications, so you have a clear understanding of the entire cost to you.
3. Know the Competitors.
Understand all of your options and possible supplemental benefits before choosing your plan. If you find one you like, take a closer look at one to two competitors’ plans to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
4. Get in the Weeds.
Research the doctors, hospitals and healthcare facilities that will be a part of your plan. It can make the difference in helping you decide which provider to go with for coverage.
5. Use your Resources.
Sites like Healthcare.gov can help answer questions and better understand if you qualify for subsidies, which supplemental benefit options are available to you, etc.
Now is the time to understand if your current plan is effective and if an alternative option would better meet your needs. By taking simple steps during Open Enrollment, consumers and startups can ensure they’re selecting healthcare coverage now that will work for them in the long-term.