You may have heard, but the open enrollment deadline is creeping up on us. On January 31st, open enrollment will close and your opportunity to change your health insurance plan or pick a new program without getting hit with fees. In fact, usually you can only enroll in a new insurance policy outside of open enrollment if you qualify under special regulations. These regulations include major life changes like getting married, having a child or finding yourself without pre-existing health insurance.
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If you’ve been thinking about looking into a new health insurance program but aren’t sure if you should make the switch, we’re here to help. Check out these five signs it’s time to shop around for new health insurance:
- The doctor you want to go see is out-of-network in your current plan, so it costs you an arm and a leg to go there. See if you can find a plan that covers that physician.
- You’ve skipped annual visits to avoid paying a hefty co-pay or lab costs. Most plans now cover wellness visits and some even will cover lab tests.
- If you’ve been avoiding an MRI that your doctor recommended last summer but you don’t want to have to pay that $500+ out-of-pocket. Self-pay MRI costs may be lower and some insurance plans even cover the majority of diagnostic imaging costs. Just search “MRI locations near me” online to find your options
- If the medication you take every month is burning a hole in your wallet, check to see if other insurances cover a larger percentage of your drug costs.
- When you spend more on your monthly premium than if you had to pay out of pocket for an MRI every month of the year, but you’re usually very healthy… it might be better to look into a less expensive plan with lower coverage.
- You’ve seen a change in your income or household size, so your budget has shifted significantly. You actually will qualify to make a change to your insurance outside of the enrollment period, so you should take advantage of the opportunity to compare options that fit into your new budget and/or give you more protection.
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Learn more about ways to save money on health care expenses once you have insurance. Realize that it’s okay to shop around for new plans and it’s also okay to search around for more affordable services out-of-network, what you learn might surprise you!