Insurance isn't sexy! What could be any less exciting than reviewing and looking for health plan options. The fact is that health plan costs are continually going up and eating away at your pocket little by little between the cost of the premium, the out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles and copays.--- as a result of the pocket grab it's worth the time to find ways to keep those dollars.
Give consideration this year looking into options through AJM Associates and toss out the old "duck duck goose" way of picking the right plan to meet your healthcare and financial budget. AJM Associates compares multiple carrier plan options based on your medical, prescription and provider preference needs. A short guided interview helps us gather your information and discuss recommendations accordingly.
The Annual Open Enrollment is coming up faster than you may think and before you begin, a few helpful tips to remember as you pick coverage for 2019:
1. Shop around. Plans change each year. Some go extinct and are taking off the menu and new plans are introduced. Don't just simply auto renew without doing some additional research on what types of plans are available and what additional bells and whistle the carrier provides. We understand it's not fun, but some upfront effort could yield you a lot of savings over the long run.
2. Beware: Lower Premiums May Not Be the Most Affordable Option. Don't judge a plan by the price tag. We all understand that's the first thing anyone looks for when buying a plan, How Much Does It Cost? The bottom line might not be in the monthly premium but rather depending on your family needs and healthcare conditions, in how much the out-of-pocket costs will be should you get sick. The best way to know is to look back on how much you have spent in the past for medications, office visits, etc. We can't predict the future, but we can use the past to give us the bigger picture.
3. Don't go uninsured. While the penalty has been set to zero for 2019, this doesn't necessarily mean your out of the woods on penalties. Each state is determining if they are going to pass legislation to pick up where the Federal government left off. This means that some states may be bringing back state specific penalties for being uninsured. Also keep in mind that without coverage, you would be on the hook for the full cost of care in the event of a freak accident or untimely illness. Health care is expensive in the United State, but a lack of coverage can put you into bankruptcy. Buy Insurance!
4. Explore Health Savings Account (HSA) Options. An HSA is money you set aside in an account to pay for medical expenses not covered through your health insurance. Not only can you take advantage of taxable savings but it's a way for those healthy to put away money into a rainy day fund for future health care expenses. Call it a 401(k) for health care. Best of all it's yours to keep and rolls over year after year. You can use an HSA to pay for deductibles, copays, vision and dental care. Republicans have had a great deal of interest in keeping and expanding HSAs and with continued attacks to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this may be a great benefit for you.
5. Be Prescription Smart. There are a ton of ways to save on your prescription drug costs that do not involve your health care plan. Websites like www.goodrx.com and https://coupons.pharmacy provide coupons and discounts for prescription medication. Retailers like Meijer have their own prescription formularies where you can get your prescriptions at no cost, such as Amoxicillin. Other retail pharmacies like Rite Aid, Kroger, CVS and Walgreens provide reduced copays or rewards program for having your prescriptions filled at their pharmacy. Talk to your provider about using generic drugs instead of brand name drugs, which cost less. Generics are variations on the expensive name-brand drugs that have lost patent protection. Take a medication that loses it's patent and then rebrands the same name with CR at the end. What does CR stand for? Continued Revenue (just kidding.....Controlled Release). Well if the original medication prescribed by your doctor is going Generic and it works for you, why go with the Gucci Armani version at the higher cost if the now Generic will save you money and works just fine to help you sleep at night.
At AJM Associates, our goal is to make finding and enrolling in the right health insurance plan a walk in the park. Contact us today and we'll help you plan for the future.