Health insurance is complicated. With so many numbers and coverage details to keep track of, you’re not alone if you find it hard to keep everything straight.
Maybe you visit the doctor and don’t have the benefits you think you did. Or maybe you’re pregnant and unsure how a new baby might change your coverage or premiums.
Don’t worry – these situations aren’t unusual, and you’re not locked into your health insurance plan forever. Every fall during the Open Enrollment Period, you have the opportunity to update your current health insurance plan to make sure it still fits your family’s needs. Or, if you experience certain life-changing events during the year, you can make updates sooner during a Special Enrollment Period.
Reasons to Change Your Health Insurance
People choose to change their health insurance plans for all kinds of reasons. A few of the most common include:
Changes in your plan’s network
If your preferred doctors or specialists stop accepting your insurance, you could pay significantly more. Other health insurance options may help lower your overall medical bills.
You need more or less coverage
If, for example, you visit the doctor frequently and copays are eating into your budget, a different plan may help you keep medical expenses under control. On the other hand, if you’re paying for top-tier coverage but don’t often use it, a more modest plan could be a better fit.
Moving to a new area, changes to your employment or your family
These events are often good times to review your entire financial situation. Referred to as qualifying life events, they’re also times when you’ll be able to change your health insurance coverage.
No matter why you want to switch or make changes to your health insurance plans, there are two windows of opportunity when you can: An open Enrollment Period and a Special Enrollment Period.
Changing health insurance during the yearly Open Enrollment Period
Open Enrollment is the time of year when anyone can change their health insurance plan for any reason. It typically runs from November 1 to December 15, sometimes extended. Medicare Open Enrollment periods may vary.
It is when you can accept your current plan’s health insurance renewal or you can shop around to find a better fit for you and your family. The plan you choose will begin on January 1, or February 1, depending on when you enroll.
Want to shop around? Here are a couple of ways to make the experience a little simpler:
- If you want to look at new plans with your insurance provider, you can usually compare them online or call your health insurance broker.
- If you want to see options from different health insurance providers, you can contact them directly, call your broker or use the health insurance marketplace.
How to cancel health insurance
Unlike enrolling in health insurance, you can cancel your health insurance at any time. (But if you get your health insurance through an employer, you may have more limited choices – check with them for more details). You may cancel your existing plan if you become eligible for health coverage in another way, like through a new job or your spouse’s insurance plan.
To cancel, contact your insurance provider or the health insurance marketplace where you purchased your plan. You can usually cancel immediately or choose a date to end your coverage. You may need to fill out some forms to make the cancellation official.
However, it’s very important to make sure you have other plans in place for your medical care. Remember – while you can usually cancel your health insurance anytime, you can’t usually enroll anytime: only during annual open Enrollment or a special enrollment period.
Before canceling your health insurance plan, make sure you’ve thought through what you’ll do if you need medical care – and how you’ll pay for it.
Ready to switch health insurance plans? Here’s what to keep in mind
What’s the right health insurance plan? Everyone wants to know, but there’s no easy answer. The right plan is different for everyone, and that’s because health is different for everyone.
However, there are a few things you can compare and consider to help choose a plan that’s right for you:
Monthly premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance
Usually, higher monthly premiums mean lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance (and vice versa). Would you rather pay more every month? Or would you rather pay more when you see the doctor? How often you get medical care can influence your personal preference.
What kind of coverage do you need
You’ll want to look at which preventive care services are covered at 100% and how much you’ll need to pay for specialty appointments. If you’re planning on starting a family soon, you’ll want to review pregnancy and maternity care coverage. You’ll want to review mental health coverage regularly if you see a therapist regularly. And if you or your family members get prescriptions, you’ll want to review drug coverage. Which parts of your plan matter most will depend on your situation and differ from others.
What kind of network you’re looking for
Many people have a preferred doctor or health care system. So when you’re thinking about switching health insurance plans, it’s important to make sure who you see and where you go are covered in-network. If you’re unsure, you can always check with your doctor’s office or review the plan’s documents before buying.
Contact Insurance Enterprise for Group Health Insurance
If you have questions about group health insurance and need health insurance quotes, contact Insurance Enterprise at 888-350-6605.. Speak to a licensed agent and find out more about how you can get an affordable health insurance plan.