By Grant Snyder, Vice President, Small Business Sales and Account Management, UnitedHealthcare, Colorado and Wyoming
Our health needs can change each year, as can health insurance coverage choices. It is therefore important to understand your health care options to find coverage that meets your needs and budget.
Annual or open enrollment season has arrived, a time when many Colorado residents and millions of Americans across the country will have the opportunity to select or change their health insurance plan for the coming year.
For people with employer-provided coverage, open enrollment usually takes place within two weeks between September and December. People who are eligible for Medicare can enroll or make changes to their coverage from October 15 to December 7. For most people, changes made during this time will take effect on January 1, 2022.
To get the most out of open enrollment this fall, here are seven tips to consider when choosing a plan that can lead to better health and cost savings in 2022.
- Understand your options. Whether you are choosing a plan for the first time or assessing how well your current plan meets your needs, take the time to understand and compare the benefits, services, and costs of each plan, in order to find the one that is right for you. best suited. A good first step is to make sure you understand health insurance jargon, such as premiums, deductibles, co-payments, coinsurance and maximum amounts. If you need a reminder, check out this Quick guide to help decode the terms.
If you are eligible for Medicare, when considering your options, make sure you know the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. If you need advice, visit MedicareMadeClear.com – an online resource with answers to questions about eligibility, plan choices, base costs, prescription coverage and more.
- Check your prescription benefits. Knowing how to get the most from your prescription benefits can help you manage costs. For example, look for less expensive alternatives that may be available, like discounts, generics, and more. You can also fill your prescriptions at a participating network pharmacy or with home delivery by mail – two other cost-effective options.
For those with Medicare: You may be surprised to learn that original Medicare generally does not cover prescription drugs. Consider adding Part D or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage to help control your drug costs.
- Anticipate next year’s health expenses. If you are expecting a significant health event in the next year, such as surgery or the birth of a child, compare the differences between plan designs, including maximum reimbursable amounts.
- Consider a plan with the convenience of virtual care. If you’re busy juggling children’s schedules and work responsibilities, traveling, or just prefer to connect with a doctor from the comfort of your home, consider choosing a plan that includes 24/7. . virtual care. These visits are designed to be an easier and more affordable way to talk to doctors about common health issues, using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Virtual care is often available to members of employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare Advantage plans and can provide access to various types of care, including wellness management, routine, urgent and chronic.
- Check mental health coverage. Managing your mental health is an important step in taking care of your overall well-being. In addition to in-person care, you can now access a vast virtual health network of therapists and psychiatrists with many plans, including UnitedHealthcareÂ® Medicare Advantage for a $ 0 co-payment. Some health insurers, such as UnitedHealthcare, also offer advocacy services to help you find the right therapist and the right type of care.
- Look in wellness programs. Many health insurance plans now offer incentives that reward you for take healthier steps, such as completing a health survey, exercising, or avoiding nicotine.
Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer gym memberships and wellness programs for members at no additional cost.
- Don’t forget about the specialty benefits. Additional benefits, such as dental, vision, hearing or critical illness insurance, are often available to protect you and your family, while contributing to your overall well-being.
For Medicare beneficiaries: You may be surprised that Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs and most dental, vision and hearing services, but many Medicare Advantage plans do.
For more helpful articles and videos on open enrollment and healthcare plans, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com.