By Brett Peveto – Indiana News Service
Open enrollment season for health insurance is upon us, and Hoosiers who want to get the right kinds of coverage have a lot to consider.
More than a half million people in Indiana are uninsured. The health insurance marketplace open enrollment period began Nov. 1 and continues through Jan. 15, a busy time for most people, and Indiana residents have up to five insurance providers to choose from, depending on the county where they live.
Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare employer and individual, said it is important to spend some time doing research when deciding on coverage.
“You want to make sure you set aside some dedicated time to really understand and compare those benefits,” Randall advised. “You don’t want this to be a decision you’re making with not a lot of time, or maybe you were to forget it’s time to make a decision, and then be locked into your current coverage.”
Subsidies for people with incomes less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level will once again be in effect. They’ve been extended through 2025 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. It caps the monthly premium for those families at no more than at 8.5% of household income.
Looking at the 2023 health insurance marketplace for Indiana, monthly premiums for an individual plan average just under $600, a 5.7% increase over this year’s rate.
With different plans at different price pointed, Randall emphasized figuring out what you will and won’t need from your health plan is critical.
“Some things to consider are prescription drug benefits, mental health coverage, specialty benefits,” Randall outlined. “Things like dental, vision, hearing, critical illness insurance, and others that may be available as well.”
Randall added it is also a good idea to learn some basic insurance terminology.
“Also make sure that you’re looking at those things like your out-of-pocket costs, and having a good understanding of what those insurance terms mean,” Randall recommended. “Like copays, coinsurance, premiums, deductibles and more.”
Indiana residents can purchase insurance through the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov.