With 2020 Open Enrollment period in full swing, families across the country are reviewing their current insurance coverages and seeing what other options may be available to them. Below are a few tips to help you navigate the process.
- Learn the Language
Insurance jargon may be enough to make some people’s heads spin but learning just a few key terms could help you pick the best health coverage for you and your family. To make it easy, here are a few words we feel you should know:
- “ACA-compliant” refers to plans that follow all the guidelines and regulations in the Affordable Care Act. These plans are only available during the annual Open Enrollment period or through a Special enrollment period, if you have a qualifying event.
- “Non-ACA plans” also known as short term health plans do not adhere to all of the Affordable Care Act’s guidelines and regulations.
- “Deductible” the amount of money you must pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in
- “Premium” the amount you pay to your insurance company every month
- “In-network” refers to a provider that has a contract with your insurance provider
- “Out-of-network” refers to a provider that does not have a contract with your insurance provider
- Think of the Future
No one can predict the future, but you may be able to take an educated guess as to what the next 12 months could hold. Thinking about the coming year could help you determine how much coverage is right for you and your family. Have you had any health issues in the past year? Are you taking any medications? By examining your current health status and concerns you may be able to narrow down your health insurance plan options.
- Know Your Deadlines
Like last year, the annual individual health insurance Open Enrollment period began on November 1 and will run until December 15. For those who enroll in one of these ACA-compliant plans, you can expect an effective date of January 1.
Non-ACA plans typically do not follow the ACA open enrollment period dates and are available in most states year-round