5 Easy Steps to Prepare for Open Enrollment

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Topic: Five easy steps to prepare for open enrollment.

Each year, the open enrollment period for Individual health insurance gives you the opportunity to purchase a new or different health plan for the following year. So whether you are buying health insurance for the first time or selecting a new health plan under the Affordable Care Act, it is important to get prepared before Open Enrollment begins.

Here are 5 simple steps to prepare for Individual Open Enrollment:

First: Explore your options

Ask your employer if they plan to offer health insurance. If not, you may need to purchase insurance on your own – either through an insurance provider or on the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you don't obtain coverage, you may face a tax penalty.

Step 2: Educate yourself

Make sure you understand some unfamiliar terms like deductibles, coinsurance and health savings accounts, and the difference between plan types. Being educated will make it easier to compare options while you shop.

Step 3: Ask a lot of questions.

  • Ask if you can keep your physician
  • Or you may want to know about specific benefits such as pediatric dental or maternity coverage.
  • If you're 26 or younger, you may want to ask about continued coverage on your parent's plan – even if you're all grown up with a job and an apartment of your own.
  • And you definitely want to ask if you qualify for a subsidy or tax credit to help make your health insurance more affordable.

That leads us to Step 4. Get your ducks in a row.

Before you purchase health insurance, you'll want to gather some information about your household income.

You'll also need to provide social security numbers and birth dates for each member of your family you will insure.

Decide how you will pay for your monthly premiums – and be prepared with your payment information.

Speaking of payment, let's jump to Step 5: Set a budget.

You'll want to determine how much you can afford to spend on premiums and other health care expenses each month. Remember to consider expenses that are not included in most premiums, such as copayments and coinsurance.

Feeling more prepared now? If not, let Optima Health help you sort through your options.

Visit us online at www.optimahealth.com or call 1-855-434-3268 to speak with a personal plan advisor who can help you choose a plan that's right for you.