Don’t let the news headlines confuse you, you can take charge of your own health plan.
Here are key things to know before you enroll:
Don’t procrastinate. With a shorter enrollment period and not much chance of extending it, you’re better off getting started now. If you leave it until the last minute, you may not be able to get help from overloaded counselors.
Don’t assume anything. If you’ve bought insurance for yourself before, the plan you had before may change or not be available for 2018. Other plans may have changed their offerings and costs. So check out what’s available in your area for 2018, and choose carefully. And if you got a health insurance tax credit on the 2017 federal tax return that you filed this year, you need to file a form before you sign up for 2018 coverage.
Don’t just look at the sticker price — look at the actual cost to you. Just like buying a car, your final cost might come down because of subsidies, discounts on copays and deductibles, and credits on your income taxes. You won’t know this until you enter some information. But whatever you do, don’t walk away when you see the initial “sticker price.” This tool can help you understand what financial assistance could help you cover the cost.
It pays to check all the plans available in your area. Even if you’ve bought a silver-level plan in the past, you should check bronze, gold and platinum ones, too. Because of the wrangling in Washington and a quirk of the law, some insurance companies are setting silver plan rates much higher than last year’s, but they’re keeping the cost of other plans lower. Also, even if a silver plan has gotten much more expensive, if you qualify for payment help, you will get a larger amount to cover the increase if you choose silver.
If your life will change in 2018, figure out now how it will affect your health insurance status. Getting married, having a baby, losing coverage from a job, changing income and other life events may make you eligible for a special enrollment period in 2018. That means you won’t be locked into the choices you make now.
Make things easier on yourself, contact Cosmo Insurance Agency. Our customer service is open 9-5 throughout the week. Just give us a call at 732-363-3888 and we can help you enroll in the marketplace.