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What You Need To Know About Health Insurance and Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for 2020 individual health plans is here. Here are some quick facts on health insurance and open enrollment:

1. This is the only time to choose or change your health insurance plan for next year, unless you have a qualifying life event that allows you to change coverage mid-year.

2. The national open enrollment is Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 — half as long as last year — for anybody who buys an individual health plan through the federal marketplace, through a broker or directly from an insurer.

3. Health insurance is no longer required by law. One thing that will differ from the past is that the individual mandate for health insurance will no longer remain in place. This means that individuals won’t be fined on their 2019 taxes for not having ACA-compliant health insurance. Previously, under the Affordable Care Act, if you qualified for health care coverage, but didn’t enroll, you would have faced a tax penalty the following year. However, the penalty has been eliminated. *Some states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, do have their own state mandates.

4. For those who get health insurance elsewhere, your open enrollment period (if any) is likely different. The vast majority of Americans (82 percent in 2016) get health insurance from an employer, Medicare or Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Tips for shopping plans

The most important thing your plan should do is cover your doctors and medications, as well as services you use regularly. To ensure that’s the case:

  • Make sure you know your plan’s co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.
  • Check in the summary of benefits or by phone with the insurer that your doctors are in the plan’s network.
  • Confirm with the insurer on the phone or in the plan’s summary of benefits that it covers typical services and treatments you use.
  • Search online for a health insurance comparison site. A good one can show whether your doctors participate in each plan and whether your drugs are covered.
  • Note whether deductibles apply before insurance pays for services you use. Two plans may look similar, but in one case there may be no deductible to see your primary care physician, while in another it could cost you.
  • Don’t assume you’re not eligible for a subsidy; check or your state exchange to be sure.

The Credit Union can help

The credit union is partnered with the TruStage Health Insurance Program and puts the expertise of GoHealth professionals at your fingertips. GoHealth is the nation’s most complete online marketplace for finding health insurance coverage. Their advisors can help you find the right plan for you and your family. In fact, they’ve helped more than 30 million consumers shop for affordable coverage, compare health insurance quotes, and purchase individual coverage. GoHealth is ready to help you:

  • Save on health insurance
  • Learn if you qualify for financial help
  • Get personal guidance from a licensed insurance advisor before the December 15, open enrollment deadline

Find out what options are available to you through the TruStage™ Health Insurance Program for credit union members today.

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