November 11, 2015
Now that we're a few weeks into the 2015-2016 health insurance open enrollment period, it's become clear that this one stands out among the most unique. In this article we're going to review some of the most concerning issues, before shedding some light on how to ensure that your coverage remains affordable, beneficial and tailored to your real health needs.
Increased Medical Premiums
Let's get right to the issue that is unquestionably causing the most frustration among families and individuals. By now, most have been made aware that their rates will be increasing after the first of the year. But why? Why such a drastic rate hike in such a short timeframe; and among those with few to no changes in their health status? It really comes down to massive, unanticipated losses to the major carriers who, in an effort to compensate, are essentially increasing premiums across the board. Check out our article on 2016 premium increases for more detailed info.
Plan Changes and Cancellations
Another topic that has been brought up countless times over the past few weeks, involves the cancellation and changes to a large number of existing medical plans. Earlier this year Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois began notifying those with large-network PPO metallic plans, that they were being cancelled in 2016. This will require that thousands who thought their health insurance job was done, begin the process of shopping for coverage... again. Additionally, many plans have been completely restructured in terms of copay, max-out-of-pocket and physician's networks.
Doctor & Hospital Networks
If you've been going to the same hospital or doctor for any extended period of time, you may have some footwork to do in order for things to remain unchanged. Under the newly restructured plan designs, many are learning that their long-time doctor or preferred hospital will no longer be in-network. Verifying this, at a minimum, requires a call to the carrier; which during open enrollment can be a real character-building endeavor. The fastest way to find out is to contact a local insurance agent, as they have direct carrier contacts and don't charge anything to help you out.
Free Health Insurance Assistance During Open Enrollment
We understand how complex and confusing the process can be, especially in such a short window of time. If you have questions or concerns about how these changes affect you, or if you'd just like to get some unbiased insight from an agent who can explain things in human terms, Premier in Lisle can help.
Give us a call at 800-369-0287 to speak with one of our agents, or write to us through our secure contact page.