So far, this year has thrown a lot of unexpecting things our way. Don’t let this year get the best of you and make you miss out on a quality healthcare plan. The Open enrollment period for 2022 health insurance is right around the corner. Take your time and follow this checklist we created to help ensure you stay organized and get covered for 2022. We have broken it down to make it as easily digestible for you to understand.
Open Enrollment Checklist
Open Enrollment is the annual period you and your family can enroll in health insurance plans in the individual Marketplace. During this time you can purchase a health insurance plan, switch to a new plan, add family members, or apply for subsidies to help pay for health insurance. So without any further ado, let’s dive into our checklist.
Step 1: Review
Proper planning should be a crucial component of any big decision. Ensuring that you get the best possible coverage for next year starts with taking some time to go over your medical and financial situation. Before Open Enrollment starts it is important to review the following:
Your Medical Needs: You need to look over your medical expenses from 2020 and decide if you need more coverage than the previous year or if a basic plan will suffice for your current medical needs.
Your Household Income: You need to open up your past financial statements and estimate how much money you are going to make in 2022. Doing this will allow you to build a budget, which in turn will help you let you know if you qualify for any discounts.
Your Plan Size: If you are single and have no dependents, you don’t need to stress about this part. However, if you have a family you need to think about if you are going to be adding or removing anyone from your health plan next year.
Your Must-Haves: You need to make a list of any doctors or medications that you want to have included in your plan. It is commonplace that individuals have specialist doctors or specific primary care physicians they want to see regularly, or prescriptions that you take on a regular basis that you need coverage for.
Step 2: Research
There is a multitude of companies in the United States that offer health insurance plans. Some of these health insurance providers only service certain states, and some have limited plans. Each plan that is available will be different to a degree. So in order to know what’s what, you will need to conduct some research. You will need to know:
What you are expected to pay – this can be confusing, especially if it is your first time having coverage. You need to research what the copays, deductibles, monthly premiums, maximum out of pocket, and coinsurance rates are on whatever plan you select.
The types of plans available – there are many different types of plans available in the marketplace types of plans include PPO, HMO, POS, EPO, and more.
The type of tier level – this includes Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Catastrophic plans are also available for those who are under the age of 30 or have a hardship or affordability exemption based on job-based or marketplace plans being unaffordable.
Step 3: Make Sure You’re Getting the Best Price
Take your time shopping in the marketplace to ensure you are getting the best price possible. There are tons of online resources available that are designed to help you compare and shop different types of plans and coverages. There are 3rd party resources as well as government resources like healthcare.gov. Use these tools to your advantage to help you make an educated decision.
Step 4: Pay on Time
After you have successfully enrolled, you need to make sure to pay your first premium bill on time, or else your plan won’t become active and you will lose out on coverage for 2021.
Additionally, if you want a physical health insurance card to carry around with you, you need to pay by December 15th at the latest so that a physical card can arrive at your place of residence by early January. If there is an option to sign up for auto-pay we recommend signing up for that so that you do not miss future payments and put your health coverage at risk.
Congratulations! You have made it to the end of the checklist! Hopefully, you have followed through with all of the steps and have acquired the health insurance plan of your dreams. If you are still confused about some of the specifics about purchasing healthcare coverage, please check out our other articles for more clarification about topics like Open Enrollment, Special Enrollment, Healthcare costs, types of plans, and more!