As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, it’s becoming more important than ever to have health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier for Americans to obtain health insurance by creating online marketplaces where people can shop for and purchase health insurance plans. However, navigating the marketplace can be confusing and overwhelming. Here are some tips and tricks on how to shop for health insurance on the marketplace.
1. Know the Enrollment Period
The Open Enrollment Period for buying health insurance on the marketplace is usually from November 1 to December 15. Outside of the Open Enrollment Period, you can only enroll if you have a qualifying life event such as losing your job, moving to a new state, getting married, or having a baby. If you’re shopping during the Open Enrollment Period, be sure to enroll by December 15 to avoid any penalty fees.
2. Understand the Different Plan Types
There are several different types of health insurance plans available on the marketplace, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs). Each plan has different benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences between them and choose the one that best fits your needs.
3. Consider Your Healthcare Needs
When shopping for health insurance, it’s important to consider your healthcare needs. Do you have any chronic conditions that require regular doctor visits or medications? Are you planning to have a baby in the near future? Do you frequently travel and need coverage outside of your home state? Make a list of your healthcare needs and compare them against the benefits of each plan to find the one that best meets your needs.
4. Compare Costs
In addition to considering your healthcare needs, you should also compare the costs of each plan. Look at the premiums, deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums for each plan, and calculate how much you would pay for each plan over the course of a year. Be sure to also check if your medications are covered by each plan and compare the costs of your preferred providers.
5. Check for Subsidies
Depending on your income level, you may be eligible for subsidies to help pay for your health insurance. To determine if you’re eligible, visit healthcare.gov and enter your income information. The marketplace will then show you the plans for which you’re eligible and the estimated amount of the subsidy.
Shopping for health insurance on the marketplace can be overwhelming, but by following these tips and tricks, you can find the best plan for your healthcare needs and budget.