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PNS Daily Newscast - October 19, 2920 

Trailing Biden in Nevada, Trump holds a jam-packed Carson City rally. And with COVID a major election issue, hospitals help patients register to vote.

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Enrollment Starts for Employer-Based Health Care for 2021

54% of Hoosiers have health-insurance coverage through their employer. (AdobeStock)
54% of Hoosiers have health-insurance coverage through their employer. (AdobeStock)
October 16, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS - COVID-19 has elevated the importance of quality health care, and Hoosiers with employer-sponsored insurance coverage are encouraged to carefully review their options for 2021.

Now is the time of year that open enrollment for private health-insurance plans is offered for the upcoming year. President and CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Indiana - Kim Sonerholm - said it's a good idea to sit down and review plan offerings, and take into consideration any anticipated health, lifestyle or financial changes.

"Only two-thirds of people who actually go through the process spent more than an hour looking at what is available," said Sonerholm. "It's broader than just health insurance and benefits. They have opportunities to enroll in dental and vision plans often, and kind of overlook those additional services that their employers are making available."

It's estimated that 54% of Hoosiers have employer-sponsored health care coverage. 15% are Medicare beneficiaries, who also need to review coverage options for next year between now and December 7.

Sonerholm said don't just go for the plan with the lowest premium, as co-pays and out-of-pocket costs also are a factor in the overall price. She said it's important to see if your doctor is in-network.

"About 76% of providers are in-network," said Sonerholm. "And it's important that they utilize those in-network physicians because they may be able to save money when accessing care in the future."

Many businesses also offer their workers employer-sponsored wellness programs that can bring down the overall cost of insurance. Sonerholm says 77% of UnitedHealthcare survey respondents who have access to such a program said it improved their overall health.

"Often times those programs are based around walking or getting up and moving," said Sonerholm. "That's something that a lot of us have struggled with during this pandemic where our lives have shifted to working remotely, and these types of programs can remind us to stay healthy and practice healthy habits."

Half of survey respondents said wellness initiatives helped reduce stress and improve productivity, and one in three said they took fewer sick days.

Disclosure: United Healthcare - IN, KY Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN