How To Compare Open Enrollment Rates
Open enrollment is the time when people can change health insurance plans provided through the federal marketplace or purchase health coverage for the first time.
Medicare has a similar open enrollment period, allowing recipients to sign-up for health benefits or change their current plan to a different type of Medicare.
Here's what to know to compare open enrollment rates on monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pay costs.
Open enrollment for state and federal marketplaces
A health insurance plan provided through state and federal marketplaces varies based on monthly premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and benefits.
Major life events are also a factor, such as a new marriage or having a newborn child.
Generally, there are four different levels of coverage, as specified in the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare):
Catastrophic coverage is also available for those who qualify under the age of 30, but the deductibles for these types of plans are by far the most expensive.
Note: All Obamacare plans include tax credits intended to defer costs to the consumer.
These Obamacare plans give patients the most benefits and the least out of pocket costs. Insurers in the platinum tier will incur 90 percent of medical expenses.
Patients with chronic conditions or those that need round-the-clock care will benefit most.
The downside is the highest monthly premium.
Gold plans typically cover at least 80 percent of medical expenses. Patients who require frequent visits to doctors and specialists do well with these health plans.
Out-of-pocket costs for Gold plans are lower than Silver and Bronze plans.
The federal marketplace's Silver plan is the most popular. Seventy percent of medical costs go to the insurance company; patients cover the remainder of the costs.
Lower-income individuals benefit most from Silver plans because they may qualify for further cost savings, known as cost-sharing reductions.
The most basic type of plan on the federal marketplace is Bronze coverage. It has the lowest premium costs, but patients pay the most out-of-pocket.
Generally, Bronze plans work well for healthy individuals with no pre-existing conditions.
Overall, most enrollees to the federal marketplace choose Silver or Bronze plans.
Open Enrollment For Medicare
Furthermore, Medicare also has an open enrollment period that begins every fall.
There are five types of Medicare coverage, and each comes with different pros and cons:
- Medicare Part A
- Medicare Part B
- Medicare Advantage
- Medicare Part D
Insurance offered through Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D receives backing from the private insurance market, allowing patients more benefits than standard Medicare.
Medicare Part A
This type of Medicare covers hospital-related expenses that can include home health visits. The plan also covers the cost of drugs and procedures during the hospital stay.
Patients will be responsible for the cost of other health services in addition to services received at a hospital.
Medicare Part B
This type of Medicare is more similar to traditional health coverage. Among many other health benefits, this plan encompasses the cost of outpatient care and preventative care.
$150 per month is the average cost for Medicare part B premiums.
The private market supports the Medicare Advantage plan. The purpose of Medicare Advantage is to combine Part A and Part B's benefits but offer a more valuable benefit to lower costs out-of-pocket.
Medicare Part D
Also known as Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Part D also receives backing from the private market. The most significant benefit of this type of Medicare is a less expensive generic medication, but plans vary.
Supplemental Medicare, also known as Medigap, is the final option. These health plans defer the cost of deductibles and co-pays that are common with other forms of Medicare.
What about Medicaid?
Medicaid, as its purpose is to provide coverage to those most in need, doesn't have open enrollment. Anyone, based upon need and income, can apply anytime throughout the year.
Since states manage who does and doesn't receive Medicaid benefits, the process to sign-up varies state-to-state.
Best way to compare open enrollment rates for 2021
The HealthPlans.com platform streamlines the search for health insurance on the state and federal marketplaces or private insurers.
Note: Private insurance plans aren't eligible for tax incentives like the Affordable Care Act plans.
Health plans vary case-to-case and person-to-person, so typically, it's a time-consuming search to compare costs, premium rates, and benefits.
Using Healthplans.com is easy for new patients, requiring only a zipcode to identify state insurers and a short personal interview.
The information patients need to provide to find the best rates includes:
- Date of birth
- Marital status
- Tobacco use
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Major life events (e.g., moving to a new state)
Healthplans.com will also require necessary contact information and an estimate of household income in 2020.
The search for health insurance is time-consuming and confusing for newcomers, so Healthplans.com's tool makes the process simpler.
Visit our homepage or call the number above to compare open enrollment rates today.