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Don’t Miss Health Insurance Deadlines

Missing a deadline to change your health insurance plan can be costly.  So if you buy your own Medicare insurance plan or under-65 health insurance plan through the healthcare marketplace, make sure you act before the open enrollment period ends.  Missing a deadline might mean missing out on better coverage or lowering your costs for the coming year.

  • Medicare open enrollment is Oct. 15 – Dec. 7
  • Health insurance open enrollment through health care exchanges – Nov. 1 – Dec. 15
  • If you purchase your insurance through your employer, make sure you know when the open enrollment period is and take any action to update your coverage.

Health care costs can easily sideline the best laid financial plan.  It may cause you to shift your money from savings to paying doctor and hospital bills; you may have to dip into savings or sell investments at a loss because you don’t have adequate resources available; or you can end up with unexpected credit card bills.

That’s why it is important this time of year to review your health insurance coverage and make sure that you have the right coverage and understand the potential out-pf-pocket costs such as co-pays and deductibles.

You won’t see the advertising you have seen in the past so make sure you take action before the deadline.

If you have a Medicare plan, you can use Medicare.gov to compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans and compare them to your current coverage.  Watch out for deductibles and co-pays and for prescription coverage what “tier” your drug is in.  That dictates the amount you and the insurance company will each pay and it can vary widely for the same drug with different plans.   In most cases you will not be able to change plans for 2018 after Dec. 7, 2017.

If you have a regular health insurance plan through the health exchanges it is important to read the material you have received from your insurance company.  And go online to Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to review your options for 2018.

When you review plans, make sure you take a look at the total cost of the plan –not just the monthly premium.  Compare co-pay, co-insurance and deductible amounts.  Try to match the plan to how you currently use the health care systems (doctor visits, prescriptions, chronic illnesses etc.)  Then think about the future and how much financial risk you want to take if your health situation changes.

Your financial advisor can help you sort through the potential impact on your finances and the reserves you have in place to handle unexpected health care costs.

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VARIPHASE FINANCIAL PARTNERS, LLC

710 S Ann St. Suite 300

Baltimore, MD 21231

Phone: 443.898.9544

            301.352.1877

Fax: 443.992.7599

Email: info@variphase.com