Health Insurance Open Enrollment: Act Now to Get Covered for 2023
It’s now open enrollment season for health insurance – an important time to take care of family, loved ones and yourself.
There are many ways health insurance can help you do the things you want to do, such as:
- Have better quality in your day-to-day activity
- Have more time with family, friends and coworkers
- Thrive as you age and achieve goals
An investment of time can also help your confidence in the face of unplanned situations. During the fall season, there are various open enrollment periods that might impact you:
- Open enrollment on the federal Marketplace for individual and family coverage: Nov. 1, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023
- Open enrollment at your workplace to sign up for next year’s coverage: Dates vary depending on your employer.
- Medicare open enrollment, when you can change your Medicare health or drug coverage for 2023: Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2022.
Unless you qualify for special enrollment periods, this is your once-a-year chance to purchase or change coverage for the coming year.
Choosing the Right Coverage
Like any investment, wisdom goes a long way in the purchase of health insurance. Since no one “plans” to break their arm or leg in the next year, coverage is protection from anything that might happen.
Now’s the time to do your reading and research. Your options will differ based on your age and life situation.
If you work for a company that offers health insurance as a benefit, look into all the options available to you. For example, you might have the opportunity to choose between a traditional plan and a high-deductible health plan. Every workplace differs, so ask your supervisor or human resources department how to get this important task completed and open enrollment dates that are specific to your workplace.
Like many people in our part of the United States, you might be a self-employed agricultural producer or small business owner. Perhaps your job is with a smaller shop that doesn’t offer health insurance benefits.
You can find individual and family coverage on the Marketplace at healthcare.gov (or MNsure in Minnesota) and you may be eligible for assistance through premium tax credits.
Small businesses, such as family farms, with as few as two people working may be eligible to set up small-group coverage.
While people 65 and older are eligible for Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance is important to cover out-of-pocket costs like co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance, especially since Medicare has no cap on expenses. Another option for people in this age range is Medicare Advantage.
Lower-income individuals and families may qualify for Medicaid or state-sponsored insurance for children.
Do the Math and Count the Cost
Unfortunately, injury and illness happen – we can’t wish them away. Yet we can predict some things coming in the new year only weeks away.
For example, you might have a chronic condition like diabetes that needs proper management. Your family might be growing. Perhaps you see coverage as a defense against a “huge” health event. Others need a plan that helps us throughout a year of medication and care for something like high blood pressure or a behavioral health condition.
Do the math and look at how monthly premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and maximum out-of-pocket costs may vary. Look at your potential annual out-of-pocket costs.
Call the health insurance provider if you are confused about insurance coverage or if all those different terms seem to trip you up. Because it’s a complex product, health insurance providers can help you be in the know.
Insurance Makes a Difference
When you go without coverage, you risk unexpected medical bills or long-term debts. The current enrollment time is now – and this once-a-year chance is yours.
Don’t dismiss protection or imagine it’s just for folks who get really sick or hurt. Not true. In fact, health insurance benefits also include yearly checkups, immunizations and preventive health screenings built in. Those benefits pay off – they keep you healthier – which is never a bad investment. Actually, it’s one of the smartest ways to spend money. Your family deserves it – and so do you!
Sometimes it helps to sit down and talk with someone who’s knowledgeable.
LeAnne Van Kley is here to help you will all your Medicare questions! LeAnne is a volunteer Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) Counselor in Osceola County. Her office is located in the Osceola Community Health Services building.
She can explain your benefits and rights, help evaluate/compare plans, organize your medical bills/statements. She can help with your appeals and so much more. Call 712-754-4611 to schedule an appointment with her today or visit https://shiip.iowa.gov for more information.