Missourians prepare for health insurance enrollment season

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Missourians have plenty of choices when it comes to health insurance coverage, and it’s time to gear up for making those decisions. For people on Medicare or those with Medicare Advantage plans, they can make changes to their coverage beginning October 15. For individuals with private insurance, the window for changes opens on November 1. For those with employer-sponsored health plans, the dates vary by employer.

Louise Norris, a health policy analyst for healthinsurance.org, emphasized the importance of not letting this period pass without conducting some research. “Do not ignore your open enrollment period. Open enrollment is really your opportunity to fine-tune your coverage,” she said. “It’s common for individuals to overlook it and allow their current plan to automatically renew. While this is an option, you might be missing out on potential savings.”

She further mentioned that since the expansion of Medicaid, all Missourians have access to health insurance through Missouri HealthNet. Those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid can receive subsidies to help cover their premiums via healthcare.gov.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, the chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare, believes that individuals will make more informed decisions if they grasp basic insurance terminology.“It begins with understanding the terminology. Familiarize yourself with terms like deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and premiums. Know what each term means and the costs associated with each for the plans you’re considering,” Randall advised.

She recommended two resources that UnitedHealthcare offers: an online glossary named “Just Plain Clear” and a companion website, “Medicare Made Clear,” tailored for those on Medicare.