It’s January, a fresh start on the year. If you’re the type of person who makes resolutions, you’ve probably made resolutions involving self-improvement, like getting to the gym three times per week, giving up Frosted Sugar Bombs for breakfast, or not letting road rage consume you on every commute. It’s in this spirit of “cleaning house” that I’d like to suggest you consider (or reconsider) your health insurance coverage.
Now, I realize that thinking about insurance is not a fun activity. Thinking about insurance is a lot like thinking about your dental care: You’d rather not pay for it, and when things are going well you’d rather not think about it, but when something goes wrong, you are going to be thankful that you have good care.
If you get your health insurance through a group plan, either with your own group or through your spouse/partner/significant other, you have probably already made your selections (or have had them made for you) for 2016. If you own your own small business and offer group health insurance to your employees, you can review and change your coverage any time throughout the year. However, if you have to buy your own health insurance, read on for why you might want to review your choice, even if you just made it a week or two ago.
- You just discovered your plan from last year doesn’t exist anymore. Yes, insurance companies can (and do) drop plans from year to year. In the Philadelphia metro area, Aetna dropped all of its plans from 2015 and replaced them with “Leap” plans for 2016. These plans have no out-of-network benefits and a tiered cost system for their providers, so if that’s not something you’d like, now’s the time to make a change – before you’re stuck with a plan you don’t like for the whole year.
- You finally have time to comparison-shop for plans. December flies by, doesn’t it? Between shopping, parties, cooking, and various festivities, it’s a wonder anyone has time to enjoy anything in December, much less take the time to thoroughly review all of the options. Fortunately you get a little more time to compare what you have to what’s available.
- Your medical status has changed. No one has a crystal ball to see into what our next year will be like, but we all make assumptions about the future being a lot like the present. If you were in good health when you bought your plan a year ago, but then something happened over the year, your plan might not give you all the coverage you need due to your new medical condition. Likewise, if you started out in 2015 with an injury and lots of physical therapy, but now you don’t need to see the doctor, you might be able to reduce your benefits.
Now that you are starting to revisit your health insurance options for 2016, keep in mind that the end of open enrollment for the year is January 31st. After that point, you won’t be able to change your health insurance unless you have a life event, like a marriage, divorce, new child, or job change.
If you’d like help with finding the best plan to suit your needs, please feel free to contact CCI Advisors. We are independent brokers, which means we represent all insurance companies offering health insurance. The best part is, the cost to you is the same whether you use a broker or not. Visit our contact us page and we will be happy to help!