We’ve been hearing a lot lately about shopping early for the holiday season. Shopping early for gifts is good, but shopping for your family’s health insurance coverage is vital.
For the roughly 225,000 of us that depend on the individual market for health care coverage, now is the time to shop. Each fall there is an Open Enrollment Period. This is the only time to shop for health insurance for the following calendar year.
This shopping window opened November 1st and closes December 15th for health plans that start January 1, 2021. Go online to healthcare.gov to shop for health plans for yourself or your family. You can also contact a local health insurance agent or one of the companies selling this coverage directly.
South Carolinians will have as many as three companies to choose from, depending on where you live.
Plans and prices can change each year, so even individuals and families that already have a plan in place should shop during this time.
It’s important to remember to look at more than just the price. The provider network and your out of pocket costs, like the deductible, copays, and coinsurance, can vary by company and plan. Be sure to consider these things to get the whole picture before you select a plan.
And remember, you must pay your first month’s premium for your plan to go into effect. Your health plan will send you a bill to let you know what you owe, so be sure to check your mail after you enroll.
If you have questions or want more information, you can visit our website at doi.sc.gov/aca or visit the Federal Marketplace at healthcare.gov.