As many families and individuals found out last year, making even the most simple mistake when signing up for health insurance can be costly, stressful and surprisingly time consuming. The process of shopping for healthcare coverage has changed drastically since the advent of the Affordable Care Act, and today, correcting mistakes is not as easy as simply picking up the phone and having them quickly resolved. Avoiding mistakes is one of the most important reasons to work with an agent who understands the finer points of healthcare reform.
In this article we will examine a few of the common pitfalls and complications that can result from making mistakes on your health insurance applications, and how to avoid them altogether.
Health Insurance Plans are Difficult to Change
If it's your first time buying health insurance on your own, this one is considerably important. In short, once you have committed to a health plan during open enrollment, you're essentially stuck with it until the next open enrollment period begins. This is especially true for those who wait until the final days during enrollment, when there is little time to make adjustments to plans. There are of course exceptions to this, but it does not change the fact that making changes to a new plan can require a substantial investment in time and patience. It's one of the main reasons to work with a broker, as they can make sure everything has been completed and submitted properly.
Working with Carriers Can be Time Consuming
Even prior to the new healthcare reform system, major health insurance carriers were known for having long wait times on the phone. With (literally) millions trying to get answers to their questions about new policies, deductibles, hospital networks, copays, deductibles and out of pocket costs, these times have only increased. Carriers like Blue Cross and others are overwhelmed during open enrollment, and this can increase the time it takes to handle something as simple as requesting replacement ID cards. The more reputable health insurance brokers will have a direct contact to the carrier, allowing them to expedite any changes you need in an efficient and correct manner.
The Process is More Complex than Ever
Keep in mind that the new system of healthcare is new to everyone, and this should serve as a constant reminder that it's easier to make mistakes than in the past. Many we've spoken to have mentioned that just knowing where to begin the process can be confusing. Once you do know, it's then a matter of making sure that you've not only selected the best plan for your needs, but moreover that you're familiar with all the new mandates, terminology, network structures, and coverage option variables. Anyone who has spent time on the healthcare.gov website will vehemently attest to this.
Unfortunately, many don't find out that they've made a key mistake or signed up for the wrong plan until after they've visited their doctor or received a bill--only then realizing that something they thought was covered, wasn’t. From there begins the process of trying to get through to the carrier, which can mean long hold times, additional paperwork and having to resubmit applications, payment, etc. Working with an insurance agent won’t cost you a dime, and will ultimately ensure that your registration is 100% error-free.
Need Help Signing Up for 2015 Health Insurance?
Whether you're dealing with a non-grandfathered plan that was canceled, trying to keep your premiums down, considering applying for a government healthcare subsidy or have experienced a major life change in the past year, Premier offers free assistance with 2015 IL health insurance signups. We'll walk you through the entire process, after showing you the best plans and options based on your realistic needs and budget.
Call our Lisle Naperville health insurance office today at 800-369-0287 to learn more or schedule an appointment, or write to us through our website contact page.