Adulting Hacks: Tips for a smooth open enrollment process

SAN ANTONIO – Open enrollment season is a time when millions of people can decide what type of health insurance coverage they need for the upcoming year. Having the right information can help you make this important decision for you to have the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

United Healthcare is offering some tips on open enrollment to help you make an informed choice.

First, make sure you know the open enrollment dates. Many employers will usually set aside two weeks between September and December for employees to select health care options through the company. For those enrolled in Medicare, the enrollment period runs from Tuesday through Dec. 7.

Next, make sure you understand the health care options that are available for you and your family. To start off, it’s important to know terms such as “premium," "deductible" and "out-of-pocket maximum." If you have questions, you can ask your human resources department for more information about health care plans or head to healthcare.gov.

When you’re reviewing your selected plan, consider next year’s possible health care expenses. If you anticipate having a child or a surgical procedure, you’ll want to compare the total cost of your health insurance plan. Always remember to ask your insurance provider if you’re unsure about the costs.

Take your medication into account when selecting a new plan or comparing it to your old one. Find out if your insurance provider will cover your prescriptions since costs for drugs can change every year.

Also, don’t forget to ask your provider about well-being programs, which may offer incentives for taking healthier actions. And you may want to inquire about specialty benefits options, such as dental or vision care.

Lastly, consider a plan with virtual doctor visits that can be done from home with a smartphone, tablet or a computer. These visits are convenient for those with a busy work life and may be cost-effective for minor health issues.

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