We all want good health, for ourselves and for our families. That’s why many of life’s most important decisions center on how we achieve health or improve our well-being. Part of this process is providing the foundation, and choosing the right health plan is an important part of that.
Now is the time to make sure your foundation is strong, giving you and your family peace of mind as the new year approaches.
Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance began November 1 and will run through December 15 for coverage starting in the New Year. To ensure coverage in 2023, it’s important to start looking now for a plan that fits your needs and your budget.
A few things to remember when buying a benefit plan. First, there are many options available at different prices, so make sure you take the time to find the plan that’s right for you. Second, you don’t have to go alone. There are many assistance options available, from navigators to brokers to your current or potential insurance agent, all ready to help you.
Taking the time to understand your health insurance options can help create a path to better health and wellness and potentially save you thousands of dollars. These plans cover basic benefits, including emergency services, prescription drugs, and pediatric services.
Also, it’s important to remember that health insurance plans offer zero-cost preventive care. This means that consumers pay nothing for essential services such as mammograms, colonoscopy and regular checkups. This is very important because many potentially life-threatening — not to mention costly — health conditions can often be prevented or controlled with these early-stage screenings.
Before you start shopping and comparing, there are a few things you should consider. Your current plan may not be offered next year. Even if your current insurance company continues to offer ACA plans, offers can change from year to year, which is another reason it really takes time to understand your options.
In addition, the federal public health emergency that expanded eligibility for Medicaid health plans is expected to end sometime in 2023. Those who lose their Medicaid eligibility will need coverage, and an individual ACA plan can meet that need.
If you think choosing a health insurance plan can seem like a daunting task, don’t let that stop you from choosing health insurance. Help is nearby.
Here in Connecticut, Access Health CT is the state’s marketplace for comparing and choosing an individual health plan when enrollment begins. This is the place to compare all plan options in the area where you live. In fact, some people in the state may also be eligible for Covered Connecticut, a new health care program that offers free coverage to eligible families. The exchange is the place where you can find out if you qualify. And you can always contact your current insurer, potential insurer, or licensed broker for free advice before making a decision.
With the cost of food, gas, and utilities rising, many Americans are experiencing financial hardship, forcing them to make difficult decisions. Choosing to opt out of health insurance doesn’t have to be one of them. Don’t think that health insurance will add financial pressure because the cost of a health insurance plan can be more affordable than you think and it will probably save you more money in the long run. The recent Inflation Reduction Act extended federal subsidies through 2025 to help lower costs for those who buy plans on the health exchange, making high-quality plans very affordable. And if you were previously ineligible for a subsidy, check again as the parameters and circumstances have changed.
Your health depends on a solid foundation; take action now and take control of your health. There are many resources that can help you. Visit the exchange at accesshealthct.com.
Lou Junkinto is president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut.