It’s your choice: Take advantage of open enrollment
If your employer offers health benefits, you may start hearing soon that it’s time for open enrollment. This is the time of year when you can make choices about your coverage for the next year. Open enrollment is sometimes called annual enrollment or benefits enrollment.
Before you know it, it will be time to choose your coverage. So take a moment to review these tips and tools that may help you prepare.
Seven questions to ask
Your employer may offer one health plan or multiple options for health coverage. When deciding what’s right for you and your family, keep these questions in mind:
1. Is my doctor in the network?
If you have doctors or specialists you like, be sure they’re in the network of the plan you choose. Why? Your costs are usually lower when you use a network doctor.
2. Is my medicine covered?
Most plans have a list that shows which prescription medicines are covered. It’s called a formulary or Prescription Drug List (PDL).
To see which medicines are on your plan’s list, go to myuhc.com — and click on “Pharmacies & Prescriptions.”
3. Who else needs to be on my plan?
Some plans offer coverage for your spouse, partner or children. These are your dependents. If the plan offers dependent coverage, children under age 26 without their own health coverage can be on your plan.
4. What type of health coverage is right for me?
You may be offered a choice between a “traditional” copay health plan and a high-deductible health plan. With a traditional copay plan, your monthly premium will be higher — and you will pay a fixed copay amount, such as $25, for each doctor visit. With a high-deductible plan, your monthly premium may be lower. But you may have a higher share of out-of-pocket costs.
How do you decide what’s right for you? Think about what health care services you and each family member might need in the coming year. For example:
- Are there medications you take routinely?
- Are you planning to have surgery?
- Do you see a doctor regularly for a health condition?
- Are you planning to have a baby?
5. What other costs should I plan for?
In addition to the premium and deductible, you may also have copays or coinsurance. To learn more about the difference, see this infographicOpens a new window.
Then try this worksheetOpens a new window to help you plan for your potential costs.
6. Will I have access to an HSA, HRA or FSA?
Check with your employer to see if a health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement account (HRA) or flexible spending account (FSA) is available to you.
These are all ways to use tax-free money to help pay for medical expenses. But there are differences. Learn more in this infographic.
7. What other benefits does my employer offer?
Carefully read the information your employer sends you. Some health plans include incentives for healthy living. And your employer may offer dental, vision or disability benefits too.
What to do next
Start planning for your health care costs in the coming year:
- Fill out this helpful health costs worksheet.
- Watch for emails from your employer about open enrollment dates.
- Take time to consider your options — so you can choose a plan that’s right for you.
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