Winter Winds with no HealthCare Breeze….Are you ready for it?

Winter Winds with no HealthCare Breeze…Are you Ready for it?

Every winter, consumers using the Affordable Health Care Exchange are asked to choose their healthcare benefits for the following calendar year.  November 1 began the 6 week open enrollment window that ends December 15. The health care exchange is designed to provide health care to Americans who are not covered by an employer provided health care plan. The health care exchange covers a portion of the bill, and the recipient of the health care receives a bill for the remainder, much the same as a traditional employer provided plan.

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to provide preventative healthcare. Studies show that regular routine checkups can prevent major health issues throughout life. In this way, having health care can save money!

The exchange enrollment website can be challenging to navigate. Important steps to consider when preparing to register are:

First, make sure that you have plenty of time. No need to rush. Enrolling on the exchange can be tricky, and you’ll want to make sure you complete it correctly the first time.

Collect the following information prior to beginning the enrollment process:

– All medical and prescription history

– All sources of income for the current year

– Documentation of all of these sources of income (W2, 1099, Social Security benefits statement from the  IRS, any distribution information in regards to what your annual withdrawal is from retirement accounts)

– Doctors’ and specialists’ names and prescriptions medications


Once you have completed the enrollment information questions you will choose your healthcare plan from one of three levels: gold, silver, or bronze. The gold level provides the most comprehensive coverage, followed by silver and bronze. Carefully examine each plan to determine which one is the best fit for you.

Important Items to consider after when selecting which level of coverage to enroll in:

  • Is your physician or specialist in the plan?
  • Are your prescriptions covered?
  • What are the co-pays and deductibles?
  • Are routine tests such as blood work or x-rays covered?
  • Any changes of income such as distributions from retirement accounts, part time jobs, and even gifts received from others can alter your premium costs.

Take time to digest the information provided by each coverage plan. You can always save your work, log out, and come back to it later. If you have questions about enrollment our team is ready to help in any way that we are able. We recommend seeking a second opinion before making changes to your plan to make sure that the change will result in the outcome desired.

Good health is important to developing the lifestyle that you desire. Healthcare is too important to rush. Take the time to get the choice right now to avoid potential health and financial issues down the road.

By Justin Hamlin