The Importance of Shopping for a Health Plan

By Rosana Garcia

shopping-online_04Connecticut is one of the only states with auto-renewal in the plans consumers purchased on the state exchange, Access Health CT. Auto-renewal allows consumers to keep their plan without doing anything—automatically signing a consumer up for the plan they had previously enrolled in without requiring additional paperwork. In fact, consumers in CT may be receiving notifications from their health insurance companies now.

Phew. One less thing to worry about, right? Don’t need to do a thing and you get to keep your insurance for the same rate, with the same subsidy, right?

Not quite.

CT News Junkie reported that “Access Health Enrollees May See Subsidies Drop in 2015.” The CT Mirror writes “Why some Obamacare insurance discounts could drop in 2015.” Neither of these headlines is wrong, but we’d like to highlight how you can ensure you are getting the right health insurance plan for you and your family:

Go shopping.

Just like when purchasing a home or a car, health insurance plan shopping requires savvy consumers. When buying a new television or washing machine, most people comparison shop. The same goes for health insurance plans—you want to get the best product for you and your family.

While the state exchange, Access Health CT, does not go live for the open enrollment period until November 15, the CT Mirror’s interactive calculator can give you an idea of what health insurance plans will cost you and your family.

So, what to do if you have not enrolled in a health insurance plan? Get covered. And if you already signed up this past year? Stay covered. The open enrollment period runs from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

So why shop?

  1. Your subsidy may be changing. If anything has changed in your life—you’ve moved, your income has changed, you have had a child, you have grown a little older (and we all have!)—these changes will impact the size of the potential subsidy you can receive.
  1. Your out-of-pocket expenses may change, as well. By using Access Health CT to shop around and compare plans, you can be certain that you choose a plan that works best for your budget.
  1. Plan benefits may have changed. There may be new plans on the market or existing plans may have changes in provider network, formularies, deductibles and co-pays. Not sure what these terms mean? The CT Mirror has a great FAQ that defines all of them.
  1. Your experience this past year with your health insurance plan may or may not have been what you and your family needed. Shopping allows you to consider other plans that may work better for you and your family.

For those with existing plans, you may decide to keep your plan after shopping around—but you will rest easier knowing that you have chosen what works for you and your family.

So when open enrollment begins on November 15, be a smart and savvy health insurance plan consumer and go shopping!

This entry was posted in Rosana G. Ferraro. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Importance of Shopping for a Health Plan

  1. Pingback: Days from Open Enrollment, All Systems are (Almost) Go: Recap of the November 6 Access Health CT Board Meeting | Universal Health Care Foundation of CT

  2. Pingback: “Now What Am I Supposed to Do?” When Clarity Becomes Confusion | Universal Health Care Foundation of CT

  3. Pingback: Thirty Days and Counting… | Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut

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