The upcoming year’s end brings a pretty important topic to everyone: open enrollment. While the process might be a little cumbersome, it’s completely necessary. To help with some of that extra work, we’ve compiled a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate your current health care, and what you should consider in deciding if you should make any changes to your current plan.
Quality (should) take priority.
Whether you are changing your current health care plan or keeping it, quality of care and facilities should be a top priority. When it comes down to it, regardless of how often you’re going to the doctor, you want you and yours to get top-quality care, right?
A recent Consumer Reports study revealed that if all companies provided the same disease-prevention and wellness programs as the nation’s top 10 percent of health plans, nearly 81,000 deaths could be avoided each year. Wow. Do your homework on some of the health care providers in your area available under your plan and make sure you’re getting the best treatment available to you.*
Count your confirmed costs.
When evaluating health care, many people solely look at the premium and deductible and “complete the form.” However, those factors can change quite a bit when you consider the expenses you incur throughout the year.
What prescription needs do you have? How about child care costs? By factoring in the costs you know you’ll pay during the course of a year, you’ll have a better idea of what your health care payments will actually look like. And remember, a lower premium usually brings a higher deductible and vice versa. So evaluate your health care needs and plan accordingly!
What’s most important to you?
If you do decide to change health plans or switch to a new provider, that doesn’t mean you have to give up what you like. If you really enjoy going to a specific doctor or facility, but feel you need to make a change to your current plan, ask them directly what other plans they might provide care under. Do what you can to keep those established relationships intact—they make a huge difference.*
The last-minute checklist.
If you’re like a lot of us, you wait last minute to evaluate your current health care plans and end up completing the open enrollment package the night before it’s due. Well maybe you don’t procrastinate that much, but you know what we’re sayin’. If you are crunched for time, factor in the cost of these top-line items and you should be set:
- Employee-paid premiums
- Coinsurance (you pay a percentage of the total cost of care)
- Maximum annual out-of-pocket expense
- Health care services the insurer doesn’t cover**
Summit partners with the TruStage Health Insurance Program, which allows participants to compare health insurance plans, determine if they qualify for assistance and get advice and tips as needed. Check it out!
There you go, healthy savers. Try to keep those items in mind as you consider your current health care coverage. Most importantly, focus on making the decision that’s best for you (and yours). Remember to keep coming back to the Summit blog for financial wellness tips and strategies!