By Kevin Counihan
This , marks the start of Open Enrollment when you can visitHealthCare.gov and sign up for affordable, quality health coverage. For current Marketplace consumers, this is the time when you can come back, shop and compare your current plan with others available in your area for 2016, and select the plan that’s right for you. You can choose to stay in your current plan if it’s still available – or – pick a new plan.
Plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace change every year and, because of that, new, better and more affordable plans might be available in your area.
Here’s what you need to know: It pays to shop. There may be plans available that offer the services you need, include more doctors, or save you money. Last year, consumers who shopped and switched plans saved nearly $400. And this year, more than 7 out of 10 current consumers will be able to find a plan with premiums less than $75.
You can visit HealthCare.gov now and compare your current plan against other plans in your area and see an estimate of how much other plans cost and learn about coverage options.
Don’t forget that you need to take action ahead of the deadline for coverage. If you are currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan, come back, update your info and make sure you have the best plan to meet your health and budget needs between and the deadline for these changes to start on .
Here are five quick tips to make the most of Open Enrollment 2016:
- Review: Plans change, people change. Review your coverage and look for a letter from your plan about how your benefits and costs may change in 2016.
- Update: Log-in to your account on HealthCare.gov. Make sure your household income and other information is up-to-date. This information is important to keep updated because it impacts the amount of financial help you receive.
- Compare: Because plans on the Marketplace change each year, new, better and more affordable plans might be available for you. Compare your current plans with the other plans that are available for you in your area.
- Choose: Select the health plan that best fits your budget and health needs.
- Enroll: If you want updates to your health coverage to start , you must make changes or select a new plan by . You can change your plan selection any time during Open Enrollment, which ends .