We all want good health for ourselves and our families. This is why many of life’s most important choices center around how to achieve health or improve our health. Part of this process is securing a foundation, and choosing the right health plan is a major part of it.
Now is the time to make sure your foundation is solid to give you and your family peace of mind as the new year begins.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance open enrollment began on November 1 and runs through December 15 for coverage that begins in the New Year. To make sure you have coverage in 2023, it’s important to start looking now for a plan that fits your needs and budget.
A few things to remember when shopping for a benefits plan. First, there are many options available at different price points, so be sure to take your time to find a plan that works best for you. Second, you don’t have to go it alone. There is plenty of help available, from navigators to brokers to your current or future insurance carrier, all ready to help.
Taking the time to understand your health insurance options can help you create a path to better health and wellness and potentially save you thousands of dollars. These plans cover essential benefits, including emergency services, prescription drugs, and pediatric services.
Also, it’s important to remember that health plans offer preventive health at a cost of zero dollars. This means consumers pay nothing for important services like mammograms, colonoscopies and regular checkups. This is critical because many potentially life-threatening—not to mention costly—health conditions can often be prevented or managed through these early detection screenings.
Before you start shopping and comparing, there are a few things to keep in mind. Your current plan may not be offered next year. Even if your current insurance carrier continues to offer ACA plans, offerings can change from year to year, which is another reason to really take the time to understand your options.
Additionally, the federal public health emergency that expanded eligibility for Medicaid health plans is expected to end sometime in 2023. Those who lose Medicaid eligibility will need coverage, and an individual ACA plan can fill that need.
If you think choosing a health plan can feel like a daunting task, please don’t let that stop you from choosing health coverage. Help is out there.
Here in Connecticut, Access Health CT is the state’s marketplace for comparing and choosing an individual health plan when enrollment begins. This is where you can compare all the plan options in the county where you live. In fact, some people in the state may also be eligible for Covered Connecticut, a new health program that offers free coverage to eligible families. The exchange is where you can find out if you qualify. And you can always contact your current insurer, prospective insurer or licensed broker for guidance before making a decision, free of charge.
With the cost of food, gas and utilities rising, many Americans are feeling financial pressures, forcing them to make tough decisions. Choosing to forego health coverage should not be one of them. Don’t assume that health insurance will add financial pressure, because health plan costs may be more affordable than you think — and will likely save you more money in the long run. The recent Inflation Reduction Act increased federal subsidies through 2025 to help lower costs for those buying health exchange plans, making high-quality plans very affordable. And if you didn’t qualify for a subsidy before, check again as the parameters and circumstances have changed.
Your health relies on a solid foundation; act now and take control of your health. There are many resources available to help you. Feel free to visit the exchange at accesshealthct.com.
Lou Giancinto is president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut.