Open Enrollment: Stay Calm, Think, and Do the Work.

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The beginning of open enrollment for health insurance feels a lot like shopping on Black Friday. It tends to be frenetic, anxiety-inducing, and overwhelming.

We get it.

Of all the health insurance purchasing advice available to you right now – and there’s plenty of it to be sure – perhaps the most sound is to summon your consumer mindset, stay calm, and do the work.

Thinking like a consumer and doing the work are really important. A stunning open enrollment survey conducted by Aflac shows that 80% of employees spend less than one hour researching their plan options, with 57% spending less than 30 minutes. And 93% of employees simply choose the same benefits year after year with little or no research.

Whether you are choosing an employer-provided plan option or shopping on the open exchanges, do some work ahead of time. Stop and think, and take control. If at all possible, the driving question you should ask yourself is, “What do I need?” or “What makes sense for me?”, rather than, “What can I afford?”.

For example, let’s say you are evaluating 3 plan options: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Start by looking at the premium and maximum out-of-pocket costs for each option, and then add those two numbers together. Those sums are your worst-case scenarios! Compare them. What is the likelihood that you will reach your maximum out-of-pocket cost in a typical year? It’s not very likely in most cases. Which option offers you the most favorable maximum out-of-pocket expense? Given that we most often do not reach the maximum out-of-pocket number anyway, is the higher monthly premium (that’s normally needed to achieve a lesser out-of-pocket maximum) really worth it?

To be clear, the example above is arbitrary and fictional. YOUR decisions should be based on YOUR needs and circumstances. Nobody – and we mean nobody – can decide what’s best for YOU, all things considered. Only YOU can do that. And, it takes some effort. So, stay calm and think.

For more help with making a decision regarding open enrollment/health insurance, read the last chapter – Spend on Care, Not on Coverage – of our free eGuide, 5 Steps to Better Healthcare at Lower Cost. And if you do nothing else to prepare for open enrollment, be sure to at least scan over the chapter – we strongly believe it will help!

Want Better and Less-Expensive Healthcare? Read our free eGuide, 5 Steps to Better Healthcare at Lower Cost

For detailed, step-by-step encouragement and assistance on achieving better healthcare for you and your family, download our free eGuide, 5 Steps to Better Healthcare at Lower Cost. Also, be sure to visit our home page for practical tips and healthcare insights.

 

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