Tips for Comparing Healthcare Plans This Enrollment Season

Ohio experts say understanding a health care plan’s benefits and comparing plans are critical for ensuring people have the coverage they need and keep costs affordable for the coming year.

The enrollment period for employer-sponsored coverage is typically between September and December, and for people eligible for Medicare, annual enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec 7.

Becky Hayward, outreach and education supervisor for the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program, advised for the prescription drug portion of open enrollment, people should review all the drugs they take, look at their current prescription drug plan, and then compare what the cost is going to be for 2024.

“Looking at what the copays are, what the deductibles might be, if it applies, if there’s any premiums,” Hayward outlined.

Nearly two-thirds of Medicare enrollees are in individual plans open for general enrollment, according to data from the nonprofit KFF.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer of Employer and Individual for United Healthcare, said comparing plans is critical for understanding your benefits.

“The best thing that you can arm yourself with during this open enrollment season is to take the time to compare those benefits and services and what your costs are,” Randall urged.

Hayward added health care plans are constantly changing.

“You also want to look at your out-of-pocket cost, what you might be responsible for, and the benefits that you have access to,” Hayward advised. “That could change significantly year-to-year even within the same plan.”

United Healthcare offers a glossary of health insurance terms called Just Plain Clear.

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