Starting in 2014, the Health Care Reform will roll out new plans with a simpler theme and easier to understand benefits. Each offering will follow the Bronze, Silver, and Gold theme of the Olympics with one additional metal being the highest level, Platinum.
Here is a breakdown:
Bronze- Lowest monthly premium, on average should cover about 60% of a person’s total health costs.
Silver – Still a low premium, should cover about 70% of a person’s total health costs.
Gold – Higher premium, should cover about 80% of a person’s total health costs.
Platinum – Highest premium, should cover about 90% of a person’s total health costs.
While the metal designation is designed to identify different plans, it is important to note that this is just an outline. Generally, bronze plans should have the lowest premium and platinum the highest, but prices and deductible amounts will vary widely. Bronze plans might look cheap, but that only holds true if you do not need much medical care. If you suffer an accident or major illness, a bronze plan could be much more expensive than platinum.
As a reminder, open enrollment for coverage starting January 1st, 2014, will begin October 1st and run through March 31st. After that, open enrollment for 2015 will run only from October 15th to December 7th, 2014.
To get a head start, you should evaluate your medical needs and get an idea of what will most affect your budget: overall deductibles, co pays for specialists, or prescriptions. Typically if you do not have a chronic condition, an accident may be your biggest expense (which would mean you pay your deductible). If you have a pre existing condition, like diabetes, which requires ongoing medicine or monthly check ups with a specialist, you might opt for a higher premium but lower co pays to see a doctor.
The bottom line is that you need to be prepared and educated to take advantage of the upcoming open enrollment. If you need assistance in choosing the best plan for your needs, our insurance agency is ready and willing to provide the counseling and advice at absolutely no cost whatsoever!