Health Insurance Season

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Summer is coming to a close and, to a health insurance broker, that means work-life is about to get chaotic.  In the old days, health insurance policies renewed one year from inception; so our client renewal needs were mostly spread through-out the course of the year.  For reasons that can be directly related to the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, 90% of all of health insurance policies now renew in December and January.  This leaves your health insurance broker a very short window of time to help the vast majority of their clients.

To make things even more complicated, the insurance carriers are constantly looking for ways to keep their rates competitive and stay profitable, so they adjust things at renewal-time.  For example, they might reduce doctor networks on certain plans and/or they may change the copayment and deductible benefits around.  With hundreds of plans available to you at renewal, having a process of elimination based on your actual medical needs will make your time with your broker more valuable.  This year, do yourself (and your broker) a favor; prepare yourself early.  Here are some tips on how to accomplish this:

Look back at what types of claims you’ve had to for medical services in the past year.  The best way to easily accomplish this is to log into your health insurance company’s member portal and extract a claims summary.  This will help your broker determine whether you need to continue at the benefit level you were last year, or make some changes going forward.

Have a list of the doctors, hospitals and pharmacies that you must have access to in the coming year.

Be prepared to provide your broker with some financial data, specifically what you expect your household income will be for the coming year. 

Whether you purchase your insurance directly, or through your employer, having this information handy will save you from having to blindly choose a health insurance policy.  Partners Direct Insurance Services is a full service agency; we pride ourselves in offering a comprehensive suite of insurance products for both businesses and individuals.  If you don’t have a broker, or are interested in exploring a new broker relationship, learn more about our account management process on our website or call us at (877) 600-7437.