4 Things You Should Be Doing to Plan for the Open Enrollment Period

The Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period is coming up: starting November 1st, you’ll have around 6 weeks to find a plan that meets your needs. That means a lot of information about all the different health insurance plans available, and information about any changes to your current plan will soon be coming your way. You’ll have to sort through all of this while trying to figure out how much coverage you need, and what you can afford, which can feel like a lot. And this time is going to come and go quickly! That means it’s important to begin planning now, so you are ready and don’t feel rushed during the process.

woman smiling with a headpiece on
EZ’s agents independent, but they are also always up-to-date on newer healthcare plans.

1. Choose an Unbiased Agent

Who you choose to work with when looking for a health insurance plan is a very important decision, and plays a big part in finding a comprehensive, affordable plan. It’s important to work with a licensed, knowledgeable agent who is not connected to a certain type of health insurance plan or insurance company, so you can get an unbiased look at all available options in your area. 

EZ’s agents work with the top-rated health insurance companies in the nation, and we guarantee that we will compare all plans in your area so that you can find the perfect plan. And not only are our agents independent, but they are also always up-to-date on newer healthcare plans, so they can provide you with all the information that you need before you make your decision.

2. Consider ALL of Your Options

After choosing to work with an EZ agent, you can simply ask them to research every option that you have, as well as help you weigh all the pros and cons of each plan. There are many different types of healthcare plans available, including PPO plans, HMO plans, or metal tier plans; if you’re not sure what’s best for you, an EZ agent will go over all of these different plan types, and will not try to limit you to a certain plan. We will lay all of your options on the table and review the coverage and cost of each one.

3. Ask the Right Questions

When it’s time to start searching for plans, think ahead of time about what you want to ask your agent, and what is important to you in a plan. In addition to asking about prices and coverage options, have a list of questions you want to ask, like:  woman looking up with question marks all around her

  • Is advanced primary care included in the plan?  
  • Can you keep your current doctor? 
  • Do you qualify for subsidies for any of the plans? 
  • Can you see doctors outside of your network?
  • Is mental health care (or anything else you’re interested in having covered) covered?
  • Is a higher deductible or lower premium plan better for you?

4. Find the Plan That Has the Most Value

People often choose the cheapest plan available, but this cheapest plan might not have the best benefits available for the price. A good health insurance plan will come from a quality carrier, provide comprehensive benefits, allow you to see the doctors you want to see, and have affordable co-pays. And remember, if you go for the cheapest plan available, you might end up paying more out-of-pocket when you use medical services. Our agent will review your medical needs and budget, and search for a plan that will check all the boxes for you.

Need Help? EZ’s Got You Covered

The health insurance Open Enrollment Period will be open from November 1st through January 15 (depending on your state), so now is the perfect time to reconsider getting a health insurance plan, or to look closely at your current one to make sure it will cover all of the above-mentioned costs. And if your plan doesn’t cover everything you need it to, it’s time to find a plan that does, so you can save as much money as possible. 

If you’re shopping for a plan, your best bet is to speak to a licensed EZ agent. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, so we can compare plans in minutes. We will not only find a plan that has all the benefits you’re looking for, but we will also make sure the plan meets your financial needs. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890. No obligation.

Questions To Ask When Requesting Health Insurance Quotes

The Open Enrollment Period is coming to an end soon, and if you still haven’t looked into your health insurance options for the new year, now is the time to do so. But we get that picking a plan can be overwhelming because of all the options out there, so we want to give you the inside scoop on finding the best plan for you: your best bet is to work with an insurance agent. They know the ins and outs of health insurance and work with every insurance company, so they can get you the best possible plan. The best part? If you work with an EZ agent, we will compare plans for you for free! So if you’re ready to get started, we’ve got the most important questions to ask when requesting health insurance quotes from your EZ agent.

What Types Of Plans Are Available?

There are a lot of plans – and we mean A LOT – of different plans out there to choose from. There are metal tier plans, HMOs, PPOs, POSs, EPOs, and more. Each plan offers different levels of flexibility, coverage options, and rates; your available options also depend on where you live, so be sure to ask your EZ agent which plans are available in your region. We will gladly go over every single option and discuss the difference between each plan, so we can help you determine which one is right for you and your family.

What Are The Metal Tiers?

Health plans available on the ACA Exchange are separated into four metal tiers. These tiers do not indicate the level of care you will receive; rather, the tiers let you know how much you will pay for care and how much your insurer will pay. The tiers are:different colored badges, one silver, one gold, and one bronze

  • Bronze– Lower monthly premiums, but a higher deductible and copays. You will usually pay an average of 40% of costs of care, and your insurer will pay 60%. 
  • Silver– Moderate monthly premiums and moderate medical costs. You will pay 30%, and your insurer will pay 70%.
  • Gold– Higher monthly premiums with lower out-of-pocket costs. You will pay 20% and your insurer will pay 80%. 
  • Platinum– Highest monthly premiums and lowest out-of-pocket costs. You will pay 10% and your insurer will pay 90%. 

We will be able to go over this in more detail, including what each type of plan will cover and how much you will pay, so you can have a better understanding of how these plans work.

Can I Add Supplemental Insurance?

Dental and vision are considered supplemental insurance plans; some health insurance plans do not offer these, so you will have to ask if they are part of the plan you are looking into. If they are not, we can help you find affordable dental and vision plans. 

What is A HDHP & Will It Work For Me?

High deductible health plans are exactly what they sound like: these plans have high deductibles, but in exchange, you will have low affordable monthly premiums. These plans are generally for healthy people who only see the doctor for annual physical exams and do not have any chronic conditions that require constant medical attention, and who will most likely not have to pay their whole deductible. For 2022, the Internal Revenue Service has defined a HDHP as any plan with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual, or $2,800 for a family.

How Are Medications Covered?

money made out of medication pills
Medications are covered differently on plan’s drug formulary, which determines how much your medications cost.

Figuring out the cost of your prescriptions can be a little complicated since different insurance companies can charge differently for the same drug – some drugs might even be covered differently by the same insurer depending on the plan you choose. Basically, insurers put medications into  a drug formulary, which is divided into four tiers:

  1. Tier 1– Inexpensive generic drugs
  2. Tier 2- Brand name drugs and more expensive generic drugs
  3. Tier 3– Non-formulary drugs, generic or brand name
  4. Tier 4- Specialty drugs

To find out which plans cover your medications and how much you will be charged based on their placement in the insurer’s drug formulary, you need to speak with an EZ agent. We will review each plan available in your area and their drug formularies to make sure that your medications are covered, and that they will not cost you an arm and a leg. 

What About Out-of-Network Coverage?

Some plans, like HMOs, will not cover out-of-network coverage, but PPO and POS plans do cover out-of-network coverage in case of an emergency. If you travel or visit family in other parts of the country often, you’ll definitely want to consider a plan that covers out-of-network emergencies; otherwise, if you have an accident while away from home, you could be stuck with a bill that you have to pay out-of-pocket.  

Do I Need Referrals?

With some plans, you’ll need a referral from your primary care physician (PCP) to see a specialist, like a gastroenterologist or an orthopedic doctor. If you want to skip this step and see a specialist whenever you feel necessary, we can help you find a plan that does not require a referral. You’ll have more flexibility with a plan that doesn’t require referrals, and you won’t have to pay a PCP copay just to get a referral to see a specialist.

There are so many things to think about when looking for a health insurance plan for you and your family. Do you want more flexibility? Supplemental insurance? Cheaper prescriptions? The easiest way to find the right plan for you and get the answers to these questions is to work with an EZ agent. We will compare plans, go over every option, discuss your needs, and help you sign up for the plan you need, all at no cost to you. Our services are completely free, with no hassle and no obligation. Speak to an EZ agent now, before the OEP ends! Get free health insurance quotes by entering your zip code in the bar above, or to speak with a local agent, call 888-350-1890.

You’ve Got Health Insurance Questions, We’ve Got the Answers (& the Deals!)

Health insurance is complicated, and sometimes searching for a plan can leave you with a lot more questions than answers. Purchasing a health insurance plan is a huge investment, so you need to make sure that you ask your agent the right questions before you spend your hard-earned money. EZ.Insure wants to make the process easier for you, so we have answered some of your most common health insurance-related questions.

How Much Does It Cost?

costs with arrows pointing outwards all around word written on a blackboard.
There are many different costs to consider when purchasing a health insurance plan.

This is one of the hardest questions to answer, because the amount you spend on healthcare will depend on your:

  • PremiumsWhen you purchase a health insurance plan this is the first bill that you’re going to get. It’s the amount that you pay every month to stay covered and keep your health insurance. This amount is calculated based on your age, tobacco use, plan type, and number of dependents covered. 
  • Copays– This is a set fee that you have to pay when you see a doctor or specialist. Depending on your plan, you will have different copays for doctor visits, specialist visits, and prescriptions.
  • Deductible- This is the amount  that you have to pay for covered services before your health insurance begins to pay. For example, if you have a deductible of $1,000, and you have surgery that costs $10,000,  you will have to pay your $1,000 deductible and then your health insurance plan will begin to pay their share.
  • CoinsuranceThe percentage of allowed charges for covered services that you have to pay. For example, some plans will cover 80% of the costs of services, and you will have to pay the other 20% after you meet your deductible. In the example above, if you had an 80/20 plan, you would pay 20% of the remaining $9,000, or $1,800. 
  • Out-of-pocket maximum– This is the maximum amount of money that you have to pay for covered services during a benefit period, which is usually a calendar year. So, in the example above, you would have spent $2,800 on your surgery – if your plan has an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000, then you would be more than halfway to meeting your maximum. If you spent $2,200 more on healthcare costs in the course of that year, your insurance plan would begin paying 100% of your costs. 

This is a lot to take in, but EZ’s highly-trained agents can help you balance your  financial needs and health needs, and find you an affordable, quality plan. They will go over each and every one of these costs in all available plans, and will even help you find discounts and subsidies that can help you pay for your health insurance.

What Type Of Plan Do I Need?person's feet with 3 arrows in front f them pointing in different directions

Determining which plan coverage is right for you depends on your health and your financial situation. When it comes to ACA plans, there are four main categories, or metal tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. These categories basically determine the ratio of your premium to your deductible. If you want to keep your monthly premium bill low (but have a higher deductible), then a Bronze or Silver plan is best for you. But if you have some serious health conditions that require treatment, prescriptions, tests, or surgery, then a Gold or Platinum plan with a low deductible (and higher premium) is a better choice to keep your out-of-pocket costs down.

The most common types of plans are what is known as managed care plans, including PPOs and HMOs. PPOs have a more flexible network of providers that are considered in-network, while HMO plans require that you choose a primary care physician and get referrals for in-network specialists.

Is My Primary Care Doctor Covered?

If you’ve been going to the same doctor for years, then it’s only natural to want to make sure that you can continue to see them. So, when searching for a plan, you need to check that your primary care doctor is in the network covered by your plan. If you do go to any doctors that are out of your health insurance plan’s network, you will end up paying for the visit out-of- pocket, and that can be very expensive.

Our agents will make sure that your primary care physician is covered in the plan that you choose. We will go over all the plans within your area within minutes and search for your physician in each of these plans to make sure they are part of the network. 

What Happens In Case Of An Emergency?illustration of ambulance speeding

Accidents happen, life is full of uncertainty, and in the event that you need to go to the hospital, you want to make sure that you are covered. Some plans will require you to contact your primary care physician within 24 hours of an emergency room visit in order for your expenses to be covered. If that seems like it is too much to remember during an emergency, then we can find you a plan that does not have this requirement.

Are There Any Perks?

Some health insurance plans do include perks, such as free gym memberships. Some offer discounts for people who are on the right track to getting healthier, and many allow you to see your doctor virtually with telemedicine. That’s right, feeling under the weather? Call your doctor and get your prescription medication sent to your pharmacy without having to go see them in person. No waits, no headaches, just the ability to talk to your doctor or see your doctor, in the comfort of your own home.

illustration of two people with headsets on with the word support over them
Make sure that the health insurance company that you choose has excellent customer service.

Who Do I Call When I Need Help?

You should also make sure that the health insurance company that you choose has excellent customer service. All too often, people call their health insurance company and either get the run-around, get the wrong answers, or hang up leaving more confused than when they called. This can be especially frustrating when you’ve received a large bill in the mail and have no idea why you received it. EZ understands this frustration, which is why our agents work with the top-rated health insurance companies in the nation. We will find you a health insurance plan with a  company that has a proven track record of great customer service, and that will be ready, willing, and able to answer all of your questions. 

We understand that health insurance is complicated and confusing. That is why we have agents ready to help search and compare plans from top-rated companies across the nation, for free. Our main goal is to help you find great health insurance that is affordable and that meets your health care needs. To compare quotes within minutes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above or to speak to one of our licensed agents, call 888-350-1890.