While you may be celebrating the first of November in anticipation of cooler weather and pumpkin flavored treats, at Take Command Health we're all geared up because Open Enrollment has officially kicked off!
This year, we have an entirely new site that makes finding and enrolling in a health plan easier than ever! But before we jump to plans, here are a few highlights of trends we've seen for 2016:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas discontinued their PPO. This means over 365,000 Texans will need to find a new plan. As long as you continue to pay your monthly premiums, Blue Cross will automatically transition your coverage to their replacement non-PPO plan; however, we strongly recommend shopping around before letting your coverage just transition.
- Carriers are offering fewer plans. Most carriers cut back on the number of plans they are offering for 2016. Aetna, for example, is down to just five plans for Texans. This makes the a little easier to understand--but obviously results in fewer choices... and the impact of buying the wrong plan could be greater.
- Many plans now offer a limited number of fixed-fee primary care visits. Historically, most people were on a plan where you paid 100% of costs until you hit your deductible or they had a fixed copay of, for example, $15 per primary care visit. Now, insurers are offering hybrid plans with offers like one free primary care visit or a limit of two primary care visits for $40. While this sounds like the best of both worlds, if you don't go to the doctor much, the higher premium you are paying each month to get your one free primary care visit may not be worth it.
- New players are entering the market. This year Oscar Health is coming to certain markets in Texas including Dallas and San Antonio. Oscar is a new carrier really trying to shake up the status quo--each plan comes with things like a free step tracker and 24/7 free calls with a doctor. Oscar plans will be on Take Command Health soon!
- More Texans are considering alternatives to traditional health insurance through cost sharing collectives like Medishare. This year, Take Command Health will help you decide if Medishare is a good alternative for you. (Note: Members of Medishare are exempt from the Affordable Care Act penalty for not having health insurance.)
Get started on Take Command Health today so that you can scratch
2016 health insurance off the list before the holidays hit!