The dreaded letter arrived from my health insurance company. It is not that I was super impressed with the plan that I had, but it was affordable and it did cover the basics medical needs that a family encounters, but it’s time to look at what I will be doing for 2015. With the Affordable Health Care Act and many other health care reforms, my company decided that my current insurance plan was being cancelled and I had 60 days to determine what I was going to do next. That can be a scary situation as it has become more and more difficult to reconcile what insurance I have to have to keep my family healthy and protected and what I can afford. I couldn’t spend too much time on it as it was necessary to find a plan between Nov 15 and Feb 15 to have coverage from the marketplace in 2015. As that deadline approaches, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned as we made out way through the twists and turns on health care reform and health insurance.
Disclosure: This discussion about health insurance is sponsored by United Healthcare. However. all opinions and experiences expressed are 100% my own and my family’s.
Getting insurance into place for 2015 means I needed to look at the “open enrollment” period of time. This means insurance should be purchased during Nov. 15 2014 and Feb. 15 2015 in order to have my heath insurance in place for 2015. Apparently gone are the days when I can just change my health insurance plan when and how I want. Unless, certain “qualifying events” occur which allows you to change your plan. Most of those are the biggies like the birth of a child. So in some cases there are still options available to families. To find out more about these options, open enrollment and qualifying events I turned to United Healthcare where I found this video on open enrollment which can explain it all to you much better than I can.
What to Consider
Okay so I know I have until Feb. 15, 2015 to set up my health insurance. But which plans do I use? What is available to me? I really did have to look back at 2014 and ask myself these questions:
- What do we see doctors for?
- How much did we spend on prescriptions?
- What operations occurred and why?
- Are their recurring or ongoing health issues that need to be addressed?
- Don’t forget dental insurance!
Apparently health insurance companies are depending more on a) how healthy you and your dependents are and b) considering preventative care provisions more strongly that they have in the past (IMHO). Your premium is going to depend on all those factors, so it’s more important than ever before to get healthy and stay healthy to keep the premiums down.
It’s not just the questions you need to ask, but you do need to know the language. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked questions at the doctor’s office and I honestly didn’t know the answers to them. What’s the coverage, copays, deductible and most importantly the premium for my coverage? It was like I’m suddenly speaking a whole new language! More importantly if I don’t know the language how can I be sure I’m getting the benefits and coverage that my family needs. So, I took this crash course on the language of health insurance and you can too. It’s not Rosetta Stone, but you will be able to discuss your coverage and benefits with knowledge.
How to save money on health insurance
It is possible to save on health insurance! Let this video help you with finding out options for saving on health insurance.
I admit, my premiums went up quite a bit this year. My first visit to a doctor with the new health insurance card was pretty scary as they told me it wasn’t “good” at their office. I came home and got online and made some calls to find out the mistake was the doctors office not mine. But without the information I’ve learned and studied during this open enrollment time I wouldn’t have even know where to begin to make the most of the care providers I love with the insurance I have.
Up next . . . Health Insurance Options for College Students. Sure, my children are grown but one college student is living back at home now and the other one is married. I’m hoping this information will help them right now as they make their health insurance choices.