By Theresa Semple
Open enrollment season is an important time for individuals to review and select their insurance coverage for the coming year. Working with a licensed insurance broker or consultant can be beneficial in navigating the options available to you. There are several things you need to know about open enrollment to make the most out of this annual opportunity to choose your healthcare plan.
Medicare Open Enrollment
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period runs now through December 7. Medicare recipients must make any plan changes prior to that date. All changes will go into effect January 1, 2024. You can learn more at Medicare.gov. In addition to options for Original Medicare, there may be Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Prescription plans, or even Special Needs Plans (SNPs) in your area that are a better fit for your healthcare needs and budget.It costs nothing to speak with a licensed Medicare insurance agent such as those at Semple Solutions, LLC.
Open Enrollment for Healthcare Plans
The Open Enrollment Period for 2024 healthcare insurance runs through January 31, 2024, in New Jersey. The plan benefits you select during this open enrollment period begin January 1, 2024, or upon the first day of February if the plan is selected in January 2024. You can learn more at Healthcare.gov.
Just as there are certain healthcare plans available for Medicare in certain areas, the same holds true for general healthcare plans. During Open Enrollment for 2024, you can apply for new health coverage or make changes to your existing plan for the coming year.
Consult with an Insurance Broker
Licensed insurance brokers or consultants assist individuals in finding the right insurance plan to fit their needs and budget. There are a wide variety of plans to choose from and a broker is familiar with the benefits offered by each to better help you in selecting the one best suited for your healthcare needs. Additionally, they can review the price points of plans to assist you in deciding on a plan that fits your budget.
It costs nothing to get a healthcare plan review during Open Enrollment with an insurance broker or consultant. Brokers and consultants are the experts of the insurance industry and provide personalized guidance through Open Enrollment. You can speak with a broker or consultant free of charge and there is no obligation to purchase a plan through them.
Review Your Current Coverage
It’s important to review your current Medicare or healthcare plan coverage. Plan benefits can change annually as can the cost. Additionally, old plans may disappear while new plans are offered each year.
Take time to evaluate your current healthcare plan. Did it provide the healthcare coverage you needed in the last year? Was the monthly premium affordable? Is there a better plan at a lower cost available in your area? A broker or consultant can help to answer these questions for you.
Be sure to account for any changes in your personal circumstances in the last year that may affect the type of healthcare plan you need. This may include getting a new job, relocating, or a change in your health.
Explore Different Plan Options
Different insurance plans offer different types of benefits. For example, a Medicare Advantage plan may offer health, dental, and vision coverage. The same is true for healthcare insurance plans for those not on Medicare.
A broker can review the key differences between the health insurance plan options in your area. They can also provide you with examples of scenarios where each plan may be better than another. Cost is another factor that is important. A licensed insurance broker such as those at Semple Solutions, LLC, can discuss costs with you.
There are several factors that play into the cost of insurance plans. One must consider the cost of insurance premiums, what you pay each month for your health insurance or Medicare plan. Deductibles are another factor to consider. High-deductible plans are generally less expensive when it comes to premiums, but you will pay more out-of-pocket if healthcare services are needed.
An insurance broker or consultant can help you review the benefits of each plan versus the cost. It’s important to take time to consider balancing the cost of coverage with the benefits of each plan to ensure you get the best value for your healthcare dollar.
Each healthcare plan typically provides certain network coverage. If you really like your primary care physician, for example, you will want to check that each plan you are considering offers access to that doctor through network coverage. The same is true for hospitals and specialists.
By visiting with a broker or consultant, they can provide tips on how to verify if specific healthcare providers such as doctors, hospitals, and specialists are in-network or out-of-network for the plans you are considering.
Benefits Beyond Medical Care
Many health insurance plans offer additional benefits. Some plans may provide free or reduced-cost access to wellness programs such as Silver Sneakers while others may provide free access to telehealth services. Prescription drugs may also be covered in whole or offer savings based on the healthcare plan you select.
Again, a licensed health insurance or Medicare broker can assist you in exploring the extra benefits of plans available in your area.
Enrollment and Deadlines
Remember, you have a limited amount of time to select your healthcare plans for 2024. Your health insurance broker or consultant will be able to give you the deadline for the open enrollment you are affected by.
The deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment is December 7, 2023.
The deadline for Open Enrollment for healthcare insurance in 2024 is January 31, 2024, in New Jersey. The deadline may vary based upon the state in which you reside.
For plans available in your area, consult with a local broker. In New Jersey, contact Semple Solutions, LLC, at (732) 238-6734. The call is free and there’s no obligation. For a smooth experience with open enrollment, schedule your consultation with a broker today.