Every fall we see the ads about “open enrollment”. As an insurance agency, we prepare for this time of year diligently. But, you might wonder, why is it always so busy during this time? Can’t people just let their old plan continue?
Unfortunately, the one thing you can count on in health insurance is change. It can be frustrating, you spend 12 months getting to know your insurance plan, figuring out your deductibles, which doctors and providers are “in network”, which drugs are covered, what your co-pay for each type of visit will be and then suddenly it’s the end of the year and you just found out that your carrier isn’t participating in your local market or they eliminate preferred providers and hospitals from the network.
While the Affordable Care Act has increased the number of Americans that have health insurance by 20 million and reduced the uninsured rate to 9 percent, the task of finding new insurance annually can be daunting. Medical needs change, financial situations change along with insurance plans changing.
This issue became even more complex this year given the uncertainty introduced by our current administration.
All of this turmoil creates an even greater need to develop a relationship with a trusted insurance adviser. Many of the plans that people relied on in 2017 have been or are being cancelled because insurance carriers are exiting the marketplace or redesigning coverage to keep premiums down. Some of the major players like Aetna, Humana and United Health Care have either dropped out of the marketplace or scaled down their offerings.
The primary objective of the ACA was to encourage relationships that work with patients to maintain better health, stay on their blood pressure medicine, alter their diets to prevent type 2 diabetes or other health issues that are preventable. This is why the ACA made preventative care a core focus. The idea was that by encouraging people to stay on top of their health, would save the carriers money over time as people needed fewer costly emergency room visits and hospital stays.
Unfortunately, the solution falls short when people have a new policy or new insurance carrier every year. Even if they are able to keep their plan, the plan itself may change and/or the providers list may change. This makes it harder to keep those relationships that support better health. If your doctor no longer participates, you need to find another one or change to a plan where your doctor is a provider. This can be so frustrating!
Ultimately, the solution is information. This is a lot of information to stay on top of, and that is why your insurance agent is so busy during open enrollment.
We are here if you need us and there is never a fee to you for our services.