With open enrollment right around the corner, it is important for all individuals and families to know what they need and want from an insurance plan. A family who has someone with diabetes will want to be sure that all necessities for your health management are covered, at least within a reasonable reach. With what seems to be endless options and many of them seemingly almost identical, be sure to use your fine tooth comb to know for sure what is covered and what your family is responsible for paying out of pocket. These open enrollment tips for diabetics can help you select the best possible plan for you and your family.
It is important as a person with diabetes to be incredibly honest with yourself and insurance broker or company when looking into a new plan or updating your coverage. They need to know what you are expecting to pay for your monthly premium and what exactly you need within that plan, for example, deductibles, copays for primary and specialist and also which doctors are currently providers with this plan etc. Without knowing some specifics up front, they will likely offer plans that have nothing to do with the needs of your family and will prolong the search for the right plan or even worse get you stuck into an unaffordable and unreasonable plan.
One major concern during open enrollment would be the cost of your monthly premium versus the cost of your annual deductible. For example, the ‘less expensive plans’, referring to monthly premiums, often have the highest deductibles.
Let’s say, the plan that is drawing you in is a fraction of the cost monthly but you will have a $5000.00 or more deductible.
This type of plan may be costing you a lot more in the end if you have to meet that deductible in full before it covers any medical expenses. With that being said, supplies for an insulin pump and insulin itself can get to be very expensive, so large deductibles often mean that those will need to be paid partially or fully out of pocket.
Some plans, even after the deductible is met, will still only cover a percentage of certain medical procedures or supplies. Be cautious when reviewing your plan options, the one that may look the least expensive may actually end up costing a pretty penny.
If you are directly affected by diabetes, you are more than likely very familiar or will be familiar with your primary care physician and your endocrinologist. You may want to decide how important it is for you to stay with the same doctors. Be sure to check when looking into plans that the doctors you see frequently are providers for the plan that you are signing up for. It is ok, if you are willing to change physicians but be sure that you can easily access a list of offices that are in your area who do accept your new plan.
In addition to checking coverage for your current doctors, it is also important that you look into getting coverage for dental and vision because it is important as a diabetic that you visit a dentist and optometrist or ophthalmologist on a regular basis. These plans are usually affordable but they do come separately from the standard health coverage.
While you are in the process of shopping for health insurance during open enrollment, it could be a great time to look for life insurance for diabetics that are in your family.
When looking at your options, just remember to be honest, be thorough and try not to get overwhelmed. There are people to help with your questions, when/if you need it. There are plenty of options and really, in no time, you will be able to choose the best insurance coverage for you and your family.