Factors to Consider When Purchasing a New Health Insurance Plan During Open Enrollment


Price is just one factor to consider when deciding whether or not to opt for a new health plan. Here are some tips on what to look out for when choosing a new plan.

Open enrollment, when people can purchase health insurance or change their insurance plan, begins November 1 and ends December 15.

Price is just one factor to consider when deciding whether or not to opt for a new health plan. There is also: Co pays, deductibles, network coverage and whether telehealth is included.

“The great thing about health care.gov and the plan selector is it allows you to really compare plans side by side, ”said Jason Resendez, Consumers for Quality Care board member. “It’s really about figuring out what’s important to you and then seeing which plans align with those priorities for you and your family. “

There are some issues new to this year that need to be taken into account – nearly three-quarters of the nation’s largest health plans are no longer waives cost sharing for COVID-19 treatment.

Telehealth has become a lifeline for many Americans during the pandemic, according to Resendez, who said 70% of people who used telehealth services say they will likely continue to use it after the pandemic is over.

But some insurers are canceling telehealth coverage.

A new law coming into effect in 2022 will help protect people from “surprise billing,” when people are billed for off-grid providers, such as anesthesiologists, at network facilities.

“Until then, it’s really important to be aware of potential surprise bills, to know what’s in the network, what is out of the network, and read that bill,” Resendez said.

Getting double-billed or over-billed for items like wet wipes are things people should watch out for and talk about, Resendez said.

“It’s important to know that you have a voice and you have to use that voice, and sometimes that means pushing things back,” Resendez said. “We have seen many cases of these bills being reduced or canceled altogether. “

Resendez strongly encourages people to avoid short-term insurance plans. They go by many names such as short-term, limited-time, or short-term plan; there are different variations, but that “short term” phrase is really the part to watch out for.

“These are really unwanted plans,” he said. “These are plans that look great on paper because they have low monthly premiums, but they often have dollar value limits on covered services or come with high deductibles and often rule out pre-existing conditions. So things like hypertension or even pregnancy can be left out of those plans, ”Resendez warned.

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