Put on your thinking caps – it’s open enrollment time, and that means it’s time to decide which type of health insurance coverage is right for your needs and the needs of your covered dependents. Open enrollment lasts until February 15, which means you only have a few more weeks to make that all-important decision.
When is open enrollment?
Open enrollment occurs annually from November 15 to January 15, but if you’re like most people, you wait until the last minute to enroll. If last year is any indication, delaying your choice can mean you face down time on the government website that oversees the open enrollment process, so setting aside some time now to make your decision is a smart (and less stressful) choice.
Then you’ll have to go without coverage until the next enrollment period begins in November. The only exceptions are for people who had a major life event, like getting married, getting divorced, having a baby, moving to a new area or losing your job. You’ll also be subject to a penalty – either $325 per person up to a maximum of $975 (162.50 per minor child) or 2 percent of your taxable household income for the year, whichever figure is higher.
Can I just keep the same coverage?
In most cases, you can, but you might want to check with your insurance company to make sure they offer the same type of coverage. In some cases, you may be automatically enrolled in your current plan or one that’s similar. That may work for some people, but if your circumstances have changed, simply rolling into the same type of coverage could mean you’re missing out on important benefits.
How can I make sure I have the best coverage for me and my family?
First, if you were covered in 2014, see if that plan is still available or if it’s had any changes to its coverage limits of insurance deductible amounts.
Whether you had coverage or not in 2014, the next step is to carefully consider the typical healthcare needs of you and your family members. Having an idea of what types of services you’re most likely going to need can help you decide which options are most important.
Next, look at all your options, and compare coverage levels, types of coverage, deductibles and copays to find the best fit. Is it a lot of work? Yes, but considering the costs of healthcare, making sure you get the right coverage is vital to your financial health as well.
Still have questions? We can help. Call Abney insurance Agency at (407) 877-6110 to discuss your options so you can get the best coverage for your needs.