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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Health Insurance

Avoid these common mistakes when you are shopping for heath insurance - TaxAct Blog

Shopping for health insurance may not be at the top of anyone’s list of fun things to do. However, with just a little preparation, it can take just a few minutes to shop and enroll in a plan that best fits your needs.

To help save you time (and a little money) while shopping, here are a few common mistakes to avoid.

Avoid: not taking the time to review the details of your coverage

Not all health plans are created equal. Make sure you think beyond the premium costs (what you pay to the insurance company each month) and dig into the details.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your preferred doctor in your plan’s network?
  • How much do office visits cost?
  • Can you afford the deductible?
  • Are your prescriptions covered?

Think about how you use healthcare in a typical year, and choose a plan that covers the services you need.

Avoid: not checking to see if you are eligible for a subsidy

Subsidies, or premium tax-credits, can help you pay for your health coverage. The amount available to you is based on your prior year household income.

Last year, an estimated 44 percent of people who shopped for individual coverage qualified for a subsidy.

To find out if you qualify for a subsidy in 2017, calculate your eligibility. It takes just a minute to check!

Avoid: not enrolling in any health coverage at all

The cost of going without health coverage often costs more than paying for a plan that at least covers the basics.

Even if you are generally healthy, it’s always a good idea to protect yourself in case you are injured or become seriously ill.

An average emergency room visit is $2,000 if you don’t have insurance. Ouch!

And, aside from putting yourself at risk of paying the full cost of care, the Affordable Care Act penalties for not having coverage have increased significantly this year.

Individuals not covered for three months or more in 2017 will face fines of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of your yearly household income – whichever is higher. The maximum penalty is $2,085 per household.

Avoid: waiting until the last minute to select coverage

Selecting your health coverage is a big decision, but waiting until the last day and rushing to choose a plan can lead to mistakes.

By waiting until the last minute, you’ll likely experience longer wait times if you’re trying to find answers to questions. That leaves you with less time to make a change if needed.

Plus, there’s a chance your application may not be processed in time, leaving you with no coverage at all.

The lesson here? Plan ahead! Start shopping well before the deadline, and do your research to find the right plan for you!

Visit the ConnectedHealth Marketplace to compare plans or chat with an agent if you have questions.

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