• Don’t get stuck with a lemon. Lots of health insurance companies make changes to rates and benefits at the beginning of the New Year. By mid to late January, you may be getting your first taste of what these changes mean for you and your family. If employer-based health insurance is no longer affordable, check with Rose Greene Insurance and get to know your options owning your own policy. Keep in mind, however, that until 2014 you may still be turned down for individual and family coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition.
• Check out new health reform-compliant plans. Health insurance companies are introducing new plans to comply with health reform rules that make preventive care at no charge and do away with lifetime coverage limits. Some older plans may not have to meet these requirements. If you want to take advantage of new health reform protections, or have any questions, call Helena Ruffin, our Director of Insurance Services.
• Be sure your old plan still fits. Like old cars or houses, an old health plan can feel pretty comfortable, but that doesn’t mean it’s still a good match for you and your family. If you were married or divorced, had children, or gained or lost income this past year, you may be able to save money on medical costs by starting the year with a plan better suited to your needs.
• Don’t pay two deductibles. Many health insurance plans come with calendar-year deductibles. If you’re planning a move or other life changes in 2011 and know you’ll have to switch health insurance plans mid-year, it may be smarter to find a new plan early. Since certain medical claims are only paid by the insurance company after the deductible is met, moving to a new health insurance plan in January or February may help you avoid paying deductibles twice in a single year.
• Fund your HSA early. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) and want to get the most out of it, fund it to the maximum amount early in the year. That will allow you to use pre-tax dollars for copayments and deductibles while allowing unused money to collect interest for more of the year. Also, remember that in 2011, HSA (and FSA) funds can no longer be used to pay for most over-the-counter medications.
NOTE: Keep in mind that when you switch plans or apply for a new individual or family health insurance plan, you may be subject to medical underwriting. If you have an individual or family plan and developed medical conditions recently, you may need to stay on that plan to keep your coverage secured.
For more information on plan options, go to http://www.rosegreeneinsurance.com. Or call 310.399.1200 to speak with Helena.