5 inquiries to ask your self earlier than selecting health insurance
Health insurance can be complicated. Whether it's your first time getting health insurance or just need help navigating the market, we have the answers to your most pressing questions.
1. When can you take out health insurance?
If you get your health insurance through the marketplace rather than your employer, you can sometimes get a plan. The first is during the open enrollment that takes place every November. This year the open enrollment deadline will be one month longer than in previous years. In North Carolina, you can choose your coverage for 2022 anytime between November 1, 2021 and January 15, 2022.
The second is when you are experiencing a qualifying life event. These are things like getting married, changing jobs or having a baby. If you experience any of these events, your options for inclusion in health insurance will reopen and you will be able to re-select a different plan or opt for a different plan.
2. Why do you need health insurance?
Health insurance is like a safety net. You might not need it, but just in case you need it, you're happy to have it. Nobody expects to get sick or unexpected medical bills, but health insurance can give you peace of mind. You may even be surprised how health insurance can help you save and what it covers.
Three members recently shared their stories about how health insurance has helped them in their need. Read:
3. How much coverage do you think you will need?
Take into account your personal health needs and the level of care you would normally receive.
A bronze plan is good for people who want protection from the worst medical conditions like serious illness or injury. This type of plan can have low monthly premiums, but it pays less of your expenses when you need maintenance.
A silver or gold plan has higher monthly premiums. These plans cover more of your routine care and regular prescription drug costs.
4. What are the costs associated with each plan?
There are two types of costs to consider when purchasing a plan. One is your premium, or the amount you pay your insurance company each month.
The second is your expenses. These are things like co-payments, deductibles, and all other costs that are not covered by your insurance.
Together, these costs add up to your total healthcare expenses. It is important to consider both your monthly payment and your expected medical expenses when choosing a plan.
Many people and families are entitled to savings on their monthly contributions based on income. Find out if you qualify and apply for your grant through healthcare.gov.
5. Which doctors do you see?
Check to see if doctors you visit regularly are on the network for the plan you are considering. This is important because visiting doctors on the network will cost you less than doctors outside the network.
Remember, with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, you never need a referral to see a specialist. As part of our efforts to keep costs down, Blue Cross NC works closely with many North Carolina hospitals and doctors to provide you with access to quality, affordable care when you need it.