Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Open Enrollment Tips

The health care reform will affect health benefits for most Americans. Most of the changes will occur in 2011. For those currently employed, you can make changes now during your employers Open Enrollment.

Verify all of your health information is accurate. If you have benefits that will no longer be paid in 2011, ask your health plan provider if you can pay for the services using a Flexible Spending Account. Some highlights of the health care changes are:
1. Children up to age 26 can be added to their parent's health insurance plans and be considered qualified dependents for a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account.

2. Starting in September 2010, some preventative services willl be available to health insurance customers at no additional cost.

3. Starting on January 1, 2011, a doctor's prescription is required to receive reimbursement from a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account for over-the-counter medications and drug purchases. You will also be charged a penalty up to 20% of the total withdrawal if you withdraw from your Health Savings Account for non-medical expenses.

4. During Open Enrollment you should also sign up for vision, dental and life insurance benefits. Know th difference between Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), and Point-of-Service (POS) plans.

5. Comparison shop during Open Enrollment season and consider the cost of the plan including but not limited to: the monthly cost of each plan, deductibles, services provided and prescriptions costs. Coverage is also based on what you can afford and what is best for your family.

Employees and health insurnce providers must communicate about the different options that are available to an employee.

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