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5 Tips to Help Texans Prepare For Open Enrollment and Save On Health Care Costs

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
11/13/17  4:39 PM PST
Open Enrollment

By David Milich, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of South Texas  –  Guest Contributor for Houston Business Journal

More than 16 million Texans will soon select or switch their health benefits plan during open enrollment, so now is the time to prepare for that important decision that usually happens once a year.

More than 70 percent of Americans say they are prepared for open enrollment, yet most people struggle to understand basic health insurance terms, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey. Only 9 percent of survey respondents could successfully define all four basic health insurance concepts: plan premium, deductible, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximum.

 Here are five tips can help you make the most out of your health benefits and better understand how to use your health care dollars.

1.   Know your open enrollment dates

Open enrollment isn’t the same or at the same time for everyone, so there are key dates to keep in mind depending on your situation:

For the more than 177 million Americans with employer-provided coverage, many companies set aside a two-week period between September and December when employees can select health benefits for the following year.

For the more than 58 million seniors and other people enrolled in Medicare, their Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

Health insurance marketplace or individual state exchange open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

For most people, changes made to coverage during open enrollment take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

2.   Take time to review your options

Every person or family has unique health and budget needs, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting a health plan. Take the time to explore your options, and understand the benefits and costs of each plan so you can find the coverage that works best for you and your family members.

Check if your current coverage still meets your needs and if your benefits will change next year.

Read the Full Article at Houston Business Journal.

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