Time to check out health insurance options for 2024
Friday, September 22, 2023
Open enrollment begins soon for employer-sponsored health insurance for coverage starting Jan 1.
Most people will have multiple options to choose from. Some are complex, so now is the time to do your research. According to the website USA Facts.org, about 7.5% of Indiana residents do not have health insurance. Experts say it is important to shop for plans, see exactly what they offer, and if a choice fits a family's needs and budget.
Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer of Employer and Individual for UnitedHealthcare, said understanding some of the basic insurance jargon is a good place to start.
"Things like deductibles, copays, coinsurance, premiums, etc.," Randall outlined. "Be familiar with what those terms are and what the costs associated with each one is for the plans that you're offered and the plans that you're considering."
Randall advised paying close attention to out-of-pocket costs and monitoring changes which can occur within a plan each year. She suggested the online health insurance glossary Just Plain Clear, which UnitedHealthcare has compiled. In 2021, more than one-third of Indiana's population was covered by public health insurance funded by governments at the federal, state or local level.
Nearly 17% of Indiana's population is 65 or older and eligible for Medicare. But it does not cover everything, so most people also buy a supplemental policy for added coverage, and a prescription drug plan. The Medicare annual enrollment period starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, when people can get new coverage or change what they've had.
Randall noted UnitedHealthcare has also compiled an online guide to help people navigate those plans.
"Medicare beneficiaries want to make sure they're understanding and learning the difference between original Medicare -- Medicare Parts 'A' and 'B' -- and Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part 'C' and 'D,' the prescription drugs," Randall explained.
Randall encouraged Hoosiers to consider insurance plans including coverage for telehealth -- virtual 24-hours-a day, 7-days-a-week mental and behavioral health services, or management of chronic conditions, such as migraines, plus physical therapy and wellness visits.
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