After having a conversation with a colleague this past week – where we dove in to the necessity of critical illness insurance – for most of us, we know this kind of insurance as cancer, accident, heart attack, hospital income, and even disability insurance – we debated how far the market has evolved – and then the poor joke of “heaven help us – we lived”.
Just how we are surviving/living is the issue.
I deal with many clients who are going on the thought that they have very generous friends and family to fall back on for money and time when they are struck with a critical illness – If you are one of these unprepared individuals, I invite you to have the conversation with your friends/family and let them know what you expect of them. I think you will be surprised by the outcome.
Here is what I have to say: Most of us do not have the financial/time resources to give you. We will be your friend/family to love and emotionally support you – but please treat us with respect and be responsible and allow us this benefit and the opportunity to be the kind of friend/family you will emotionally need. Take care of yourself, first.
March 15th to April 30th is open enrollment for children in the individual and family health insurance market. During this time you can add children to your health plan, buy them their own health plan, or switch health plans. Now is the time to make your changes. For more info on this, please visit the WA State Insurance Commissioners website www.insurance.wa.gov or give a local agent an opportunity to help you.
When it comes to Health Insurance, I think we have all known someone who was confused and frustrated and decided to “just pick something” and hope it works out. The world of health insurance lends itself to this, but it doesn’t have to. Here are some basic rules to help you get started when choosing the right health insurance plan:
- Make a list of your doctors
- Make a list of your prescriptions
- Make a list of the services you cannot live without (maternity, Rx, etc)
- Does everyone that will be on your health plan need the same services (does one person need Rx, while another does not?) Most of us do not realize that we do not need to insure everyone on the same health plan.
- Check the health plan’s doctor network to make sure your doctors are in network/out of network.
- Check the health plan’s pharmacy formulary to confirm if your Rx is listed for coverage and what pharmacies or mail order can you use.
- Check the health plan’s deductible – keep in mind if it is an individual or family deductible. Will the deductible be higher depending on where your receive the care (in network/out of network).
- Check the health plan’s maximium co-insurance – keep in mind if it is an individual or family c0-insurance maximum. Will the co-insurance amount be higher depending on where you receive the care (in network/out of network)
- Check the health plan’s co-payments and how many doctor visits are covered before you have to satisfy the deductible.
- Discuss with the health plan if you will have a pre-existing wait period applied to any health conditions you have when switching plans and/or health insurance carriers.
- Read the health plan limitations and exclusions.
Remember health insurance is not designed to cover everything and this is a basic list to help you get started in the process of choosing a plan. We recommend you call an agent – there are plenty of good ones out there waiting to help you.
Snoqualmie, WA 98065