What You Should Know About Open Enrollment Season


It isn’t fuMike King headshot 2n, but it really is important this time of year to look closely at your health insurance options, especially if you are on an individual plan through the Obamacare exchanges. It’s also true within the menu of options available to you through an employer.  Working around the edges, insurance companies change benefits, premium charges and out-of-pocket costs almost every year. They do this to maximize profits. That’s why they are in the business. So it is best to look closely at what you have now and what you can afford next year.

I like to make the analogy to signing up for residential natural gas service. Most of us only do that once even though the contracts we sign with marketers can adjust the per-therm rate, service fees and other costs once the contract expires and we fail to take note. Or think about your cable bill. How much has that monthly charge for your cable box/DVR set increased over the years? When did the “Premium Package” get so expensive?

It ain’t always easy, which is why many of us just sign up to renew our existing health insurance plans. And, by the way, when your friends start complaining about Obamacare being the cause of health insurance costs going up, ask them if they have shopped around for a potentially better plan at a better cost. They should. That’s how the health insurance system is designed to work in this country.

Here’s an excellent Washington Post piece on the subject.


2 thoughts on “What You Should Know About Open Enrollment Season”

  1. It gets harder and harder every year my friend. OBAMACARE was supposed to reduce the average premium by $2500. Unfortunately, I have LOST MY INSURANCE PLAN SECONDARY TO OBAMACARE, premiums are up by 33%, and the deductible has doubled. Can we spell INCOME REDISTRIBUTATION? Yep, a marvelous success this OBAMACARE. Oh, did I mention that we have the same number of uninsured – maybe more since people like me are just deciding to pay the fine and exit the system.

    1. Hard to know where to start on this post, because I would need much more information to comment on your insurance coverage and costs. But let me correct this falsehood: Since Obamacare was fully implemented, the number of uninsured in the country has fallen significantly, from about 50 million in 2010 to just over half that now. Most of those left are people in the country illegally, who are specifically exempted from coverage, and those who fall below 138 percent of poverty living in states that have elected not to expand Medicaid. We’ve got to be able to stipulate that there are facts and there are opinions. The fact is that the number of people without insurance has significantly declined because of the ACA. My opinion is that is a good thing and that the regulations needed to get there are worth it. You can, and probably do, hold the opinion that the law is a bad thing and that the regulations needed to implement the law are counterproductive or ineffective, or both. But to claim that we still have the same number of uninsured is demonstrably false.

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