Thousands of Tennesseeians will be shopping for new health insurance plans for next year as open enrollment began Nov. 1. Experts say it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting.
More than 600,000 Tennessee residents lack health insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, said people looking for coverage should do their research to choose the plan that’s best for them.
She added that some plans are more affordable now that Congress has extended subsidies that help many people pay for coverage.
“For low-income people, you can get a plan that has really solid coverage, and you can get it for free or at very low cost,” Johnson said. “The most important thing to look for when choosing a plan is to make sure your doctors are on the plan — and then make sure your medications are covered.”
The Reducing Inflation Act included a provision to extend the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies through 2025, so the subsidy rules that are in effect this year will continue through 2023. .
To find out if you are eligible, visit ‘Healthcare.gov’ online. Enter your zip code and the system will ask you to enter information about your income, which will determine the amount of your premium subsidy.
Johnson explained that the amount of savings is tied to your income, based on the federal poverty level.
“If you’re 400 percent poverty or below, which is really upper middle class in Tennessee, you’ll qualify for some subsidies,” Johnson said. “The 200% in poverty and below, really generous subsidies. People below 200% poverty can get plans for a really cheap amount per month.
The system then shows you the insurance plans available in your geographic area.
Dr Rhonda Randall, UnitedHealthcare’s chief medical officer, noted that there are some options people might not think about – such as how a plan would handle a significant health event, such as pregnancy or a medical condition. chronic.
She added that since the pandemic, more people have also recognized the benefits of getting care online.
“Plans that include virtual care services,” Randall said, “for medical conditions as well as behavioral health conditions, have become very popular. We have seen the use of these increase. You’re also looking for a plan that not only offers virtual health options, but also a link to in-person care.
Randall said adding dental, vision, or hearing coverage is another consideration, as well as double-checking if the plan covers the prescriptions you need. In short, she recommends that people do their homework, because the registration dates are fast approaching.