If your health insurance plan is eligible, auto-renewal can be convenient. But if you’re thinking about sticking with the same coverage in 2016, you may want to think again. A recent study shows you could save money on health insurance premiums by shopping around—on the flip side, you could pay more if you don’t.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed how premiums for lowest cost silver plans offered through HealthCare.gov changed from 2015 to 2016 and found the following1:
- If consumers who were enrolled in the lowest cost silver plan for 2015 re-enrolled in the same plan for 2016, they would pay an average premium increase of 15 percent before any applicable premium tax credits.
- In 73 percent of the 1,721 counties Kaiser analyzed, consumers could find a lower cost silver plan for 2016 than the silver plan they had in 2015.
- As an example using data from these counties, Kaiser explained that, with subsidies, a 40-year-old making $20,000 per year paid an average of $75 for the lowest cost silver plan in 2015. This person would see a 37 percent increase in premium to $103 per month if he were to automatically renew his coverage in 2016. However, the individual would pay an average of $76 per month by switching plans—a 1 percent increase.
In the study, Kaiser notes that the lowest cost silver plan is the most popular plan sold through HealthCare.gov. You can read the full analysis here.
Additional benefits could help reduce healthcare costs
The money you save on 2016 premiums by switching plans, obtaining premium tax credits or both, could be used on insurance add-ons and supplemental insurance products to help you save on healthcare expenses your Obamacare plan won’t cover. Such products may include:
- Dental insurance – Dental plans provide benefits that help pay for a range of dental services, from preventive to major care—some plans have an optional orthodontia discount available. Get a dental insurance quote and enroll today!
- Telemedicine – Get healthcare anytime, anywhere. Telemedicine includes access to virtual health consultations with licensed physicians anytime of day and any day of the year—only $15 per consultation. Get Telemedicine today.
- Gap Insurance – Medical gap coverage pays a lump sum benefit when a covered accident or illness occurs. These benefits can make a high-deductible bronze plan feel like gold! Get a gap health insurance quote to determine which product is available in your state.
Be sure to think beyond your premium
Saving money can motivate many people to switch health insurance plans. However, there is more than monthly premium to consider when selecting coverage. When comparing and narrowing your options, be sure to pay attention to factors such as healthcare provider networks, prescription drug formularies, deductibles, and coinsurance and copayment amounts.
Not sure how to get started with the health insurance shopping process or in need of some pointers to make it less stressful? Read “How to Choose 2016 Health Benefits in 5 Streamlined Steps” and “4 Tips to Help Take the Seasonal Stress Out of Health Insurance Shopping.”
If you need assistance selecting an ACA-compliant plan or supplemental coverage, call the number at the top of your screen.