As part of the Affordable Care Act, open enrollment for the Washington State Health Insurance Exchange begins on November 15th. To help consumers better understand and navigate this process, BridgeSpan Health President, Chris Blanton, has compiled a brief list of the most important things consumers need to know when evaluating and purchasing health plans. Read More >>
For the hundreds of thousands of Washington residents who have not had health insurance for many years, or are signing up for the first time, the task can seem daunting due to the numerous options available to choose from. BridgeSpan Health is committed to informing and educating consumers so they know exactly what they’re purchasing. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Open enrollment starts Nov. 15, 2014 and ends on Feb. 15, 2014.
- In order to have coverage by Jan.1, 2015, you must enroll by Dec. 23, 2014.
- Evaluate your annual healthcare needs and budget to determine the right mix of monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs.
- Monthly premium is only one component of the cost of health insurance and picking a plan just on a premium cost may not be the best decision.
- If the plan selected has lower monthly premiums, the out-of-pocket costs may be higher.
- A higher monthly premium may lower your out-of-pocket cost.
- Visit the websites of the plans you are interested in for additional details and specifics about coverage and benefits.
- Call the plan’s customer support line for any unanswered questions.
- If you have established doctors and want to keep seeing them, you should confirm that they are in the network of the plan you are considering.
- If you’re taking a certain prescription medication, is that drug covered, and how much of the cost will you be responsible for?
- If you are eligible for a subsidy, make sure you evaluate the cost of the plan after the subsidy has been applied.
- Even if you think you can’t afford health insurance, visit the Exchange to see how federal subsidies may reduce your monthly premium
- If you had a plan through the exchange in 2014, visit the marketplace again to evaluate the new plan designs, new network options and new carriers on the market for 2015. You could find a plan that better meets your needs.