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Here’s When You Should Change Your Health Insurance Plan

Has Your Family Grown Recently? You May Want to Consider Changing Your Insurance Plan

For many people, health insurance is one of those things that they don’t think about… until they need it. And let’s admit it- more than a few of us have picked plans semi-blindly, not having a true picture of the benefits or exactly what we’re getting into. While it’s not the best way to shop for health insurance; that approach nothing to be ashamed of; after all, insurance terminology can be complex to those who are unfamiliar with the business, and for those who are young and healthy, sometimes it’s easy to think “why would I need this if I rarely get sick?”

Time has a way of making sure we pay more attention to these things, which leaves some people unsure of whether their frustrations with health insurance plans are part of the status quo or are issues that should be fixed. This often leads people to wonder “how can I change my health insurance plan mid-enrollment?” While that’s another question for another day, here are a few ways to know when you should change your health insurance.

When You’re Paying for Preventative Care

By law, all ACA-compliant health plans- in other words, health insurance plans that meet the minimum standard of “Obamacare“- MUST include free access to preventative care services such as flu shots and blood pressure screenings (read more about the covered preventative services here). In addition, they must provide some level of coverage for mental health care, which we’ve covered in this article here.

If your health plan does not include coverage for these services, it’s time to consider a change.

When Your Healthcare Needs Have Changed

Have you just made it through “the other side” of a serious health condition? Have you made a major lifestyle change, such as losing a major amount of weight? Have you moved on from a job that involved a major amount of physical strain? These are all examples of major health changes that may cause some to consider dialing back their health insurance coverage.

When Your Family Needs Have Changed

Are you one of the 1.4% of Americans that have had a baby in the last year? Are you planning to have a new addition to your family soon? Will your partner be eligible for medicare within the next year? Then it may be time for you to evaluate changing health insurance plans to better suit your family’s needs.

When You Don’t Go to the Doctor… Because You Can’t Afford It

The whole point of having health insurance is to help reduce the cost of caring for one’s health. This is why one of the great ironies of our time is that thousands and thousands of people who have health insurance skip doctor’s visits when they’re sick or neglect refilling prescriptions… because it’s too expensive!

If this is the case, it’s definitely time to consider switching health plans. Even if you don’t switch health plans, then you may want to consider an HSA- a Health Savings Account- if it’s available through your health insurance provider.

Another Way to Find Out If You Should Change Your Health Insurance

There are many other situations that may cause people to consider changing their health insurance. Our team of experts can help you understand whether or not the time is right for you, and can help you find a plan that will suit your needs if you’re ready to change. Call the Health Plan Options Today team hotline at 888-375-8879 to speak with the team directly, or click the link below and we’ll get in touch with you.

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp from Pexels

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Idea: Let’s Add Our Parents to our Health Insurance

If an idea created in California catches on, people may soon be able to add parents to their health insurance plans.

While people can have their children on their health insurance plans through age 26, there is no provision to add dependent parents to health insurance plans. That may soon change in the nation’s largest state if a new bill passes. This may have implications for the future of the entire health insurance industry as well.

Health insurance for the vast majority of the elderly who live in America is covered by Medicare or Medicaid. However, there is a small elderly population who generally aren’t covered by these health insurance programs.

The bill, which is currently named AB-570: Dependent Parent Health Coverage Bill (full text of the bill is here), seeks to allow dependent parents to be added to their adult children’s healthcare plans the same way that adult children can be added to their parents’ healthcare plans (until they are 26). This would drastically benefit those who are caring for incapacitated parents, and may help fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover (Medicare doesn’t cover dental care, eye care, hearing care and more). The bill also allows people to add undocumented parents to their health insurance as well.

Need to fill in Medicare gaps? Check out our guide on Medigap coverage here).

AB-570 comes on the heels of another California bill that has already influenced other states to reevaluate the way health insurance works, and may end up influencing the future of healthcare in the United States as a whole as well.

Los Angeles assemblyman Miguel Santiago, who sponsored AB-570, says that this is more than a healthcare issue; this is a human rights issue:

“(There are people who) can’t give (their parents) a very basic right to health care through their own coverage plan. This is critical. It’s the humane thing to do.”

-Assemblyman Miguel Santiago

Not surprisingly, there has been some solid opposition to this bill, even outside of the political arena. For example, a coalition of several of California’s chambers of commerce released an open letter (see full text here) that says while the bill is “well-intentioned”, it will cast a burden on small businesses that will be too much to bear, especially when considering California’s recent changes to increase corporate taxation. Here are a few sentences from the letter:

“This bill will place an additional strain on struggling businesses for coverage that is already accessible and affordable for those who need it. …for these reasons, and others, we are respectfully OPPOSED to AB 570” (Caps were in original letter).

At the time of the publication of this article, AB 570 is under debate in the California Assembly (the equivalent of the house of representatives in other states). Regardless of the outcome, it will be interesting to see the discussion this bill will create.

Where to Get Health Insurance

Whether shopping for Medigap coverage for senior parents or searching for a health insurance plan for yourself, Health Plan Options Today covers it all, and has a team of experts that can help you find the right plan for your needs and budget. Call our hotline at 888-375-8879 or click the button below to get started!