Out with the old, in with the new

old way, new way

Signing up for a new health insurance plan means a lot. It may mean new co-pays, new deductibles and even new doctors. But it also means making sure you don’t have a gap in coverage before your new plan begins.

Continuous coverage is crucial

Unless you want a hefty bill for any medical services you seek out, getting continuous coverage is crucial. Luckily, if you lose your health insurance, it automatically entitles you to a Special Enrollment Period under the Affordable Care Act. This lets you join a plan on the government marketplace outside the annual enrollment period.

You have a choice in plans

Often, when a plan ends, your insurance company will send you a letter recommending a new plan. But that doesn’t mean you have to sign up for it. If the suggested plan is too expensive, or doesn’t meet your needs, you can select a completely different plan.

When to sign up

You can sign up for a new health insurance plan 45 days before the end of your current coverage, or 60 days after it ends. So there’s no need to panic – in total, you have over three months to choose new coverage.

If you have additional questions about getting a new insurance plan when your old one is over, talk to an insurance broker today!

Surprise! You have a huge medical bill

Serious young black couple paying bills online with laptop computer

Some surprises can be fun. A surprise $5 bill in your pocket. A surprise hard-to-get table at your favorite restaurant. But other surprises – such as an enormous medical bill – can be devastating.

Big bills can happen to anyone

No matter how hard you try to use the approved providers, or stay in-network, unexpected medical bills can crop up at any time. This is especially true when having any type of procedures done at a hospital. That’s because doctors and hospitals bill differently; just because one is covered doesn’t mean the other will be. That means these providers are often able to “balance bill” patients, charging them the full amount that insurance wouldn’t cover.

What can you do to avoid surprises?

It’s possible your huge medical bill is unavoidable. But before you assume that, there are a few things you can try. First, examine any bills you receive closely. Double-check all charges – some may be duplicates, or for services that weren’t even performed! Second, see if you can negotiate with the provider. If they learn you can’t pay them the full amount, they may be willing to accept a lesser one.

Working with a health insurance broker can minimize the chances of unexpected bills. If you’re in the market for a new policy, get in touch with a broker today!