You must be aware that health insurers typically auto-enroll you in the same health plan every year if you do not cancel your plan. Purchasing health insurance is a task, and auto-enrollment proves to be a comfortable option. Since your health and financial condition don’t remain the same, so your health plan should also not remain the same. You should know that by spending time during each open enrollment period in picking the best plan, you can save thousands of dollars and receive better care programs.
Find below some valid reasons behind switching health plans:
Increase in the cost of the plan – You don’t need to pay the same price for your health plan year after year just because you are enrolled in the same plan. Even though health plan costs are not expected to rise much this year, some states are increasing the price of the premiums. Besides monthly health insurance premiums, you also have to pay other costs like copay, coinsurance, and a deductible that can also change every year. The best thing is you don’t need to stuck with an expensive plan if you can find a plan at a lower price. You have the option to switch your health plan to the cheapest plan in your metal tier, and it is quite possible that you pay the same or even less while enjoying the similar benefits.
Your doctor not accepting your plan – Doctors do not accept the same health plans every year, as they constantly change the plans they accept. It means that there is always a chance that your doctor may not accept your plan the next year. Thus, you need to call your doctor’s office to know about the health plans that they accept, and if you find out that your favorite doctor is no longer accepting your plan, and you prefer to visit the same doctor, then you can switch health plans. You can check with the doctor about the plan which they will accept next year, and if that plan fits into your budget and serve your healthcare needs, then making a switch will be best for you. In case if you often visit your doctor, then you should switch to a plan in a higher metal tier because you will need to pay less for your visits, and you can save your money in the long run.
Not having the right level of healthcare – Every year you need to evaluate your healthcare needs and the financial investment and compare it with the last year. You need to check out whether your plan is working the way you need it. In last year if you paid full-price for doctor-visits and prescriptions, then you should switch to a higher metal-tier plan offering better overall coverage. In case if you paid for an expensive plan and rarely used it, then you should consider switching to a plan with a low premium and higher deductible. You need to evaluate your upcoming medical needs, and if you or any of your family members require regular checkups and care, then you should switch to a plan that gives you access to the right doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions.
Plan no longer available in your area – Most of the health insurance companies change their geographic areas they cover every year, and this is particularly common with plans available on HealthCare.gov. This is because insurance carriers often decide to change areas if they participate in the federal exchange. If your plan is no longer available in your area, and if you have signed for the plan through Healthcare.gov or your state exchange, then your carrier will automatically enroll you in a similar plan. Though your benefits, plan costs, and whether your healthcare providers are in-network or not can change. In case if you have directly enrolled in a plan with the insurance carrier and they leave your area, then you won’t be enrolled at all, and you need to call your insurance carrier to check whether they will keep you enrolled or not.
Your prescriptions no longer covered – It often happens that a health insurance company suddenly decides to no longer cover a drug, and can even change the number of prescriptions they cover. Thus, to avoid getting charged with unexpected charges at the pharmacy, you should regularly check with your insurance companies to ensure that your medications will be covered next year. If your drugs will not be covered next year, then you should switch to a plan that includes your drugs.
You are not allowed to change later on – There is only a specific time of the year when you are allowed to switch to a new health plan, until and unless you have a qualifying life event. If you allow your carrier to auto-enroll you, then you will have to stuck with the plan they choose for the whole year. Thus, you can take the time to switch to a different plan during the open enrollment, as this will ensure you have a plan that you will like and use all year.
Change in your Income – If currently you are having a subsidized plan but you are expecting your income to increase next year, then you may end up paying less for a plan, and you will have to pay back the government during tax time. So in such circumstances, you should switch a plan that will cost you less. Similarly, if your income reduces and you can qualify for a subsidy, then it is better to switch plans and avail the subsidy because by not switching the plan, you will lose out on your year-round healthcare savings. You should accurately re-estimate your annual income to get the right subsidy amount and secure your financial stability all through the year.