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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Four tips going into 2021 open enrollment season

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The open enrollment period is upon us again, and many have questions about options for health insurance as we approach 2021. Finding the right insurance fit can be challenging with the large number of choices, and many may be looking for other insurance options due to changes caused by COVID-19. CareSource, a nonprofit, multi-state health plan, wants to help individuals and families find and afford a plan. Offering multiple plans across the entire state of Indiana, CareSource provides consumers with the best health insurance coverage and premium at the most reasonable price. President of the Indiana Market of CareSource, Steve Smitherman, has a few tips for consumers who are enrolling in marketplace this year or looking to adjust their benefits.

1. Open Enrollment is a Short Window of Time

This year, open enrollment spans from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. While this short window means consumers need to act quickly, they should also make an informed decision. Consumers should understand their options ahead of the open enrollment period, so they are ready to enroll once the window opens. Prior to making a decision, consumers should research premiums, benefits included in plans, changes within the government, included health care networks and other factors that inform their decision.

2. Know What is Included in Your Health Insurance and Avoid Short-Term Plans

If you are looking at a new plan, you may want to keep your primary care physician or current health care network. When looking at health insurance options, you should look for details like included health care networks to know what is included in your plan. CareSource offers one of the strongest health insurance plans in terms of the number of health networks included in coverage. Many have started to use short-term plans due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While short-term plans may fit individuals’ needs, consumers should be aware short-term plans do not typically include coverage for preexisting conditions, maternity services and pharmaceuticals like long-term plans often do. 

3. CareSource will Continue Providing Coverage Regardless of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Changes

This year has brought the possibility that the Affordable Care Act could be revoked. Consumers should continue to be aware of the status of the ACA and monitor what changes may occur if the ACA is revoked. When choosing a health insurance plan, consumers should feel confident in their provider. CareSource has been present for over 30 years and has experience in dealing with changes to the ACA, as it’s dealt with health care changes through six different administrations.  

4. CareSource has the Lowest Premium for Health Insurance in Indiana

CareSource is offering the same plans this year but has widened the gap in pricing. On average, the premium for CareSource is over $100 cheaper than the next lowest price option. While the price point is the lowest, the coverage provided is significant. CareSource offers a strong network allowing members to keep their current health care network and primary care physician. Other non-ACA-compliant plans do not offer coverage to the extent that CareSource does.

Education in health insurance options can ensure consumers choose the right option for their needs. With potential changes to the ACA and a year full of change due to COVID-19, consumers should be prepared for open enrollment. Regardless of changes, CareSource continues to offer significant health insurance options at the lowest price point. For more information on CareSource, visit www.caresource.com. 

Steve Smitherman is president of the CareSource Indiana Market.

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