If you’ve spent even a few minutes listening to your FM car radio in the last few weeks, then you’ve probably already been told that we’re currently in Open Enrollment for health insurance. But if you’re like me, you’re hitting the dial before you have to listen to yet another dry health insurance commercial.
But the truth is, open enrollment is important. This is the only time of year that you can make changes to your health insurance coverage. For the many millions of Americans who are struggling to cover their monthly expenses, this is a critical opportunity to lower your costs.
But switching plans to save money might also cost you your favorite doctor. Understanding the various Colorado health insurance networks is necessary if you want to keep your doctor, or even if you are looking for a better one.
Can I save money by changing health insurance during open enrollment?
Health insurance plans are always changing. Premiums, deductibles, and copayments are in a constant state of flux. In general, all plans are becoming more expensive over time. But some plan rates do go down, and new, potentially more affordable plans are always becoming available.
Switching health insurance plans during open enrollment is not guaranteed to save you money. But if that’s your goal, there is almost always something more affordable that’s available.
This is where myself and the rest of the ColoHealth team come in. With a quick, no-fee consultation, we can find you the savings or coverage options that you’re looking for. Or, we’ll find you something even better that you didn’t know was available.
Is changing health insurance during open enrollment a good idea?
Not everyone needs to change insurance plans every year. But everyone should be actively making that decision every year.
Here are the most common reasons you might want to switch:
- Health insurance rates change every year. Your plan’s premium, deductible, or coinsurance could be going up. Similarly, other plan rates could be going down. Open Enrollment is an opportunity to ensure that you’re getting the best price possible.
- Just like insurance rates, individual health insurance plans can change from year to year. New coverage options may become available, while other options might be eliminated or altered.
- If you are one of the many Americans whose income has changed dramatically in 2020, then your subsidy eligibility might change. This could account for a price difference of hundreds per month, making it necessary to find a better plan for 2021.
To summarize, health insurance Open Enrollment is a valuable opportunity to save money, customize your coverage options, and stay “on top of the game” when it comes to your overall financial plan.
But here’s the catch: If you switch your health insurance plan, you might be forced to switch networks as well. Switching networks means switching doctors, and that could mean losing access to your favorite doctor. And let’s face it: finding a good doctor is not always easy.
Making sense of health insurance networks
No matter who you are insured with in Colorado, your plan is HMO. That means that your plan comes with a specific provider network, or group of facilities or professionals that you can use.
More and more, these networks are becoming smaller and more regional. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make switching health insurance plans a bit more complicated.
If you’re researching a new health insurance plan, you can check the company’s carrier directory to see what the network looks like. You should be able to find a link to the carrier directory on the insurance company’s website.
Your personal benefits manager can help
Whether you are curious about saving money or trying to find more information on plan networks, your Personal Benefits Manager can make it a lot easier. We live and breathe this stuff, especially this time of year.
Call us anytime for a free consultation. Or you can click here to run an instant quote on the most popular Colorado plans.
Leslie Jablonski is a Personal Benefits Manager at ColoHealth. Her aim is to help you make smart and informed healthcare coverage decisions that will fit your needs and budget. Read more about Leslie on her Bio page.