Open Enrollment is in full effect!
Here are some tips to help you
choose the right plan.
The annual healthcare open enrollment period is here and runs through January 15th. There are many choices to pick from and they all have different premiums and costs. Comparing plans can simplify the process, and as always, our certified Navigators are here to provide free enrollment assistance and education.
There are different metal categories. These four metal categories have nothing to do with quality of care, so no matter which level you choose from you can save money on monthly premiums based on your household income. The categories are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. If you qualify for cost sharing reduction, keep in mind that you must choose a silver metal plan to take advantage of the extra savings. Catastrophic plans are very limited and only available to those under 30, or those with “hardship exemptions” who have been determined unable to afford coverage.
Choose the appropriate plan type. You will find HMOs, POS, and EPO plans on Healthcare.gov Make sure that if you choose an HMO that you always stay within your network coverage, otherwise insurance may not cover the costs. EPO and POS allow you to go out of network but will charge you more. EPO and POS plans also tend to have Nationwide Providers and typically do not require referrals to see a specialist.
Look at the big picture. Consider the total cost of healthcare, not just the monthly premium. Out-of-pocket costs, such as copays and deductibles can have a big impact on your monthly (or yearly) spending. Make sure you analyze how much care you will usually need or are likely to use in 2022 before selecting a plan.
Remember, no matter what metal level, type of plan or cost of the plan, all plans under the Affordable Care Acts Marketplace cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions and offer free preventive care services such as immunizations and screenings.
Find out if you will save on coverage by estimating your 2022 household income to see if you will qualify for a premium tax credit. All you need is the number of people that are in your household (even if they do not need the coverage) and your 2022 household income estimate. You can use this handy calculator help you. These are just estimates so to find out your exact savings, you will need to complete an application. For free enrollment assistance, call 877-553-7453 to schedule an appointment with a certified navigator. The deadline to enroll is January 15, 2022.