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Picking the best insurance plan during open enrollment

health insurance
Posted at 4:26 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 09:53:26-04

Health insurance can make a big difference if you get sick. It's hard to believe that right now there are thousands of Arizonans who don't have any coverage at all.

Insurance is not one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to the cost you pay monthly or at the time of service.

"The idea is you can find something that fits your needs and is affordable for you," said Allen Gjersevig with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers.

During a recent Facebook Live Town Hall with the Let Joe Know Team, Gjersevig shared people need to think about their current health when picking a new insurance plan this enrollment season.

"Let's say an individual has a chronic disease, that chronic disease requires name-brand medications and lots of tests and different treatments — they are likely to save money by choosing a more expensive plan," said Gjersevig.

The idea is that more expensive plans cover more services, so you'll typically pay fewer out-of-pocket costs.

But what if you've had a change in income, or the plans offered by your employer are way out of your budget? Gjersevig says that's where the health insurance marketplace makes the biggest difference.

He says during a recent special enrollment period, four out of five people in Maricopa County signed up for an insurance plan that costs less than $10 a month, and some owe no monthly premium at all.

"In other words, you only pay if you see a doctor — you don't pay a premium each month just to have insurance," said Gjersevig.

On the marketplace, the less you earn, the less you pay and unlike before, if you made four times the Federal Poverty Level, you got no discounts. Now all plans are capped at 8.7% of a family's income.

"For some people, that amounts to huge savings," said Gjersevig.

The Healthcare Marketplace open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15. If you need coverage to start on Jan.1, you must enroll by Dec.15.