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What are you doing on October 1st? Setting up Halloween decorations? Leaving for a weekend trip? Maybe it’s just another Thursday. But we have good news! You can start shopping for your health coverage on Thursday, October 1st. You can get an idea of costs and medical benefits, with more options than ever before.

what to know before shopping health insurance plans

What is Window Shopping?

Window Shopping allows you to explore all of your health insurance options before Open Enrollment begins on November 1st. Previewing different coverage options will prepare you to select the appropriate plan based on your medical and budgetary needs. While window shopping, you can learn about plan benefits, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, copayments and coinsurance amounts, as well as how much your insurance premium is going to cost. 4 out of 5 enrollees are eligible to receive financial assistance, known as subsides, to help pay for their monthly costs of insurance.

Definitions of Health Insurance Terms:

Deductibles: the amount of money that you would need to pay before you can use any benefits from your health insurance plan. For example, if a person has a $1,000 deductible, that person will have to pay $1,000 for medical care before the insurance company pays anything. The deductible is an annual amount, something that you need to pay every year.
Out-of-pocket costs: exactly what it sounds like – money you pay out of your own pocket for medical care you’ve received.
Copayments or copay: a fixed amount of money that you must pay at the time a medical service is provided. For example, if you go to the doctor for a broken arm, the front desk would ask you for your copayment.
Coinsurance amounts: usually a percentage that you must pay. A common coinsurance split is 80/20, meaning that the insurance company pays 80% of your medical bills and you pay 20%.

Having good base knowledge of common health insurance terms will equip you not only for the Open Enrollment Period, but for life. This year’s Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, 2020 – January 15, 2021. Visit our “How to Enroll” page for more information.

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