By Amy Galliano, Licensed Insurance Broker
It’s fall, y’all! Time for football, gettogethers, pumpkin spice and…health insurance? Yes, that is correct. Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) begins November 1 and runs through December 15. This is the time when many of us in Louisiana must renew or change our health insurance based on needs, coverage options and of course, costs.
This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether you are an individual, newly married, a family of 5 or considering early retirement, your health insurance is a major purchase that requires budgeting and research. After fixing so many mistakes made by new clients, I’m offering the following list of tips to help you avoid the same pitfalls. Of course, please contact my office if you’d rather a professional take care of your insurance needs.
Know Your Network
Do not assume that your doctor is in a carrierís network without checking first. Many consumers have called me frantic because they are scheduled for a doctor visit on Monday and are just learning that their physician of many years is not in their planís network. Do not assume. Most carriers have their directory of doctors listed in an obvious place on their website so take the extra few minutes to make sure that your trusted doctor is in the specific planís network.
Anticipate Life Changes
Getting married in 2019? Considering starting a family? Maybe planning to quit your job which provides you with health insurance and starting your own business? All of these changes, and many more, should play a part in your health insurance decision. It may mean that you consider a lower deductible. If you are getting married, you may want to price out the difference between a plan on your own or being added to your upcoming spouseís work health insurance after the big day.
Set in Stone…Almost
I joke with many of my clients about being ìmarriedî to their insurance planóat least for the plan year. Unless you experience a triggering event, essentially a life change, you cannot change your coverage. Prepare to keep your plan for the duration. Other options do exist. Perhaps a short term medical plan better fits your situation. Additionally, small business owners are generally very surprised to learn that their business qualifies for group health options, which could amount to savings and tax benefits.
This is a great time of year to be in South Louisiana. Take the time to consider your options before purchasing your health insurance plan. It could result in a happier and healthier 2019.
For more advice and help with your medical and life insurance needs, you can reach me at 504-908-5938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Galliano, 10-year licensed insurance professional • AEG Insurance • Short term medical • Group & individual health insurance plans • Disability & Life insurance • Dental/vision/hearing plans • Medicare supplemental • Like AEGInsuranceLA on Facebook