Signing up for health insurance requires knowledge and the right timing. Miss the deadlines and you may have to wait until next year’s enrollment period. Just as important is knowing what type of plan best suits you and your family. For those who don’t have access to coverage through an employer or own their own, here’s a helpful guide on how to enroll in a national plan.
How to Enroll in Health Insurance
Most open enrollment periods occur during a few months each year. For instance, the 2019 Marketplace starts Nov. 1 and ends on Dec. 15, 2018. With many health insurance plans, if you miss the open enrollment time frame, there may be other ways to sign on. Generally, enrollment might still be available if the person had a baby, got married or lost coverage through an employer.
Regarding enrolling, there are several ways to do so. An insurance agent or broker can offer free assistance with applying and enrolling online via the insurance provider’s website. In addition, agents are available to assist those who prefer enrolling over the phone. An insurance agent can also help clients with completing paper application forms. Many carriers have downloadable application forms right on their website.
What Types of Insurance Plans Are Available
There are three common types of health insurance plans: health maintenance organization (HMO), point of service (POS), and preferred provider organization (PPO). Each one has unique benefits, features, and premiums tailored to a variety of healthcare needs.
The HMO’s main feature is an in-network of primary care physicians. Participants in this health plan can only be patients of the network’s physicians. This arrangement helps keep out-of-pocket and premium costs low. A POS is similar to an HMO with one key distinction; participants can select physicians outside of the designated network.
Those who enroll in a PPO can keep their preferred physician. Unlike HMOs, participants don’t need a referral to see a specialist. While PPO enrollees don’t have to stick to physicians in a designated network, they should still check to see that the services offered by an out-of-network doctor or specialist are covered under their health insurance plan.
Securing coverage for you and your family’s medical needs is a top priority. The good news is you don’t have to make the decision on your own. Since 1986, Grachek Insurance in Kalispell, MT, has helped clients navigate through the application and enrollment process. Serving the Flathead Valley and surrounding areas, the family-owned agency takes pride in personalized and superior customer service. If you have questions about enrolling in health insurance plans, call (406) 755-4000. Visit the website to request an insurance quote and learn about the full suite of coverage options.