It’s about that time of year again when employers allow their employees to change their insurance plans. For most plans there are aspects which change every year while some things stay the same. When the changes come this year, make sure that you review the best option for you and your family. To help you pick the right one for your situation and goals, here are a few tips on how to make the right choice and what to look for to pick the right insurance policy.
Find Out Your Timeframe
Most employers will tell you when your insurance plan needs to be reviewed, but that doesn’t mean that they all will. Make sure that you know when you should start looking at the updated plans because some of them will have timeframes that must be met in order to qualify for their coverage. It’s best to find out when the availability starts and ends for each plan so that you can place that inside of a calendar. This will help to prioritize your considerations while also giving you time to review all of the options before committing.
There May Be Special Enrollment Periods
Sometimes there are circumstances which call for an adjustment to your health care plans and that may or may not fall into the timeframe matching the yearly updates. But for these situations there are some special enrollment times during the year which lets you change or amend your plan, although not completely switch to a new plan. These are usually complex situations which involve new members of the family or changes to the household. Whatever plan you choose, make sure to get information about the special enrollment periods for your plan—even if you don’t immediately plan on using the information.
Compare All Costs and All Aspects
Since all insurance plans usually have an update every year, this means that their prices will change too. It’s important that you compare all of your options across the board because there will likely be large variation between plans and even within tiered plans. Comparing them will help you to make an informed decision based on your needs. There’s no reason to get a plan with an expansive list of children’s doctors when you don’t have kids—so, consider the ones which fit your lifestyle, and which would most likely cover any accidents you’re likely to have.
Pick the Plan which Accounts for Possibilities
The type of lifestyle you have should greatly influence your choice in insurance. If the most dangerous thing you do is thread needles, you probably won’t need things like the most expensive and fully covered plan. However, you should also take into consideration your and your family’s history of medical conditions. If your father passed away at 50 because of a heart attack, there is reason to heavily consider a more expensive plan as you move closer towards that age too.
Pick the Option that Lets You Save Money
Getting a full coverage plan is great, but it’s not always necessary, as mentioned above. Since the plans are reviewed every year, it’s a good choice to pick a plan that allows you to save money while covering future problems. If you generally take good care of your teeth and haven’t been having any pain—you can skip the dental for another year. The same goes for vision; if you have relatively good vision and it hasn’t changed significantly in the last few years, you can always skip the vision part of your insurance. But, if you or your family have a history of issues, or you’re already wearing glasses or braces, it’s best to keep those on your plan.
Check if Your Doctors and Medication are Covered
There are many times when doctors and medication are not covered by a plan. This can become a huge issue if your plan hasn’t changed, but your doctor has, or if you sign up for one tier of a plan and they actually are in another tier. Just like checking what hospitals are available in your network, you should also check if your doctor is in network too and if your new plan would cover your medication needs.
Also consider looking at any sort of special things that you might need, like broken bones if you’ve recently started rock climbing. Or, if you anticipate medical needs like a hip surgery, double check to see if any plans have coverage that may help you with that. Insurance plans are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s necessary to explore your options and think about the future.
Consider Life Insurance
No one expects to die when they reach a certain age, but sometimes accidents happen. Employers know this, and so there are quite a few which offer life insurance as an option in their plans. Just like dental or vision, it’s perfectly fine to put it off for another year to save money—but since this particular piece of insurance greatly affects your family, it’s usually suggested that you heavily consider it.
If you do decide that you want a life insurance policy, that doesn’t mean that you must follow your employer and commit to their available plans. In fact, most people shop around before committing to their life insurance policies. There are a lot of plans out there which cover life, it’s just a matter of picking one which fits within your needs and expectations.
Insurance plans and everything that goes into them, can be overwhelming and complex even to seasoned professionals. That is why there are an increasing amount of help being offered to people. According to Daiya Healthcare, “Utilizing a health care services agency can make all the difference in your understanding and can greatly help you to pick the right plan for you and your family.” Professionals in this area are there to help with all of your medical needs in a single place, instead of hopping around the internet and trying to figure it out yourself.