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Open Enrollment - Colleen Callahan says Don’t Delay

Nov 01, 2015 01:32PM ● By Colleen Callahan

It is hard to think about Thanksgiving when Open Enrollment for individual medical insurance is here again. This is the time of year when it is important to consider how you have used your health plan during the past 10 months and how you think you will use it next year. It is important to take a look at the options available to you. Primarily, make sure the physicians you want to see continue to be contracted with the insurance company you select. It is important to remember you can obtain coverage directly with an insurance company OR through Covered California. It is also important to remember you are making this decision for the entire year. If you change insurance companies, make sure you pay the new premium on time and stop paying the old premium. It is nearly impossible to get a refund if you have paid too much. If you miss a payment, it is also nearly impossible to get reinstated.

For those of you with a Bronze Level plan, it feels as if you really do not have insurance, the deductible is high, and you have to meet the deductible before you have coverage for an office visit or prescription medications. It is worth comparing the Bronze and Silver. The additional cost could be manageable; you will have a lower deductible and some coverage before meeting that deductible. It really is worth evaluating carefully.

If you plan to make changes, do it early; the lines and wait times for help when calling the insurance companies or Covered California will be long. Set yourself up with a cup of coffee, a good book (maybe something Michael Harris has suggested), start dialing first thing in the morning, and expect to wait and wait.

Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF