It’s getting to be that time of the year, the open enrollment period for your health insurance. Whether you have health insurance through your employer or are covered by an individual plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace, most open enrollment periods are happening between now and the end of the year. What does this mean for you? Here are some tips and things to review for open enrollment:
Will my insurance needs change in the upcoming year?
Think about what changes are coming in your life in the upcoming year and what those changes could mean for your health insurance needs. Look at both you and your spouse’s plans to compare costs and decide if it makes more sense stay separate or add your spouse to your plan.
Are there changes to the plans that are being offered?
Once you receive the open enrollment materials be sure to review any changes to coverages and deductibles from the current plan and any new plans that are available. Compare the changes to your premium costs and if you have choices between different plans its important to consider your overall out of pocket costs and how likely it is you will meet those maximums.
Are the providers changing?
If any of the providers are changing during open enrollment its important to review the changes that come along with a new provider. You should check to see if your doctors and preferred pharmacy are covered by the new plan, you could be subject to out of network costs if you don’t check before going to the doctor when the new plan year begins. You may also need to get pre-approval for things that you did not need to in the past. Your plan administrator should be able to help you with any questions you have during open enrollment.
What Insurances do I need?
Consider your risks for supplemental insurances and if it makes sense to have some of those coverages. If you don’t wear glasses, you do not need vision insurance and you can always add it if you need it during the next open enrollment period.
How will any changes affect your take home pay?
Usually, your costs for insurance are deducted from your pay before taxes which lowers your taxable income, and it may not change your take home pay as much as you might think. If you are making some bigger changes you may want to check with your HR department to estimate what these changes will make to your take home pay.
This is also a good time for a financial review, since your taxable income could be changing this is a great time to check your tax withholding and review your 401k plan to see if you would like to make any changes to those.