by Lisa DiDio, AmeriHealth New Jersey
Are you looking to change your current health insurance plan? Selecting a health plan for the first time? Finding one that best fits your needs can be time-consuming. Start by considering factors such as cost, accessibility, plan type and structure to make the selection process easier. Following are some tips:
Since 2021, New Jersey residents have access to the state-based exchange (Get Covered New Jersey) that exchange continues for 2023. To purchase plans, you need to go to nj.gov/getcoverednj/. I recommend calling the health insurance carriers directly with any specific plan questions. For example, at AmeriHealth New Jersey*, licensed sales agents are available by phone to help determine what plan is best for you. They can also submit an application on your behalf over the phone.
All New Jersey residents are required to have health insurance coverage. Whether you are purchasing a consumer plan on nj.gov/getcoverednj/ or getting coverage through your employer, knowing your enrollment window is key to avoid tax penalties.
This year, the consumer open enrollment period runs from November 1, 2022 until January 31, 2023. If you purchase health insurance through your employer, pay close attention to the deadlines for making plan selections. Once the window closes, there isn’t much flexibility unless you experience a life event like a marriage or if you have a baby.
Although there’s a three-month window for open enrolment, it’s important to make your selection as early as possible to ensure you are covered starting January 1, 2023. Also, take note of when you can expect your new member ID card and how you can access a digital version if needed.
It’s important to consider the cost to buy versus the cost to use any health plan. For example, with high deductible health plans, monthly premiums are affordable, but can be cancelled out by high deductibles or other fees like co-pays and co-insurance, which can add up quickly.
This is where transparency tools, like cost estimators, are important to help you compare estimated out-of-pocket costs. Check to see if the health plan you are considering offers these types of resources.
Chances are you and your family have formed relationships with the physicians you see regularly throughout the year and you’ll want to make sure they participate in the network you choose to avoid potential out-of-network fees.
Plans that offer in-network options only are generally less expensive. In addition, local networks can help control costs, while regional and national networks offer added flexibility.
Renewing an existing health plan? You might be able to do it from the palm of your hand with a text. This is just one example of how the health care industry is leveraging technology to provide a more seamless experience for you. For AmeriHealth New Jersey, you can download the free app AHNJ On the Go.
Knowing what kinds of digital engagement tools are available can enable you to do things like find health care providers, schedule appointments, manage a disease and provide wellness resources.
Ask if the health insurance carrier provides direct access to live representatives who are readily available to assist you. It’s important to understand the customer service resources so you can maximize the value you’ll receive as a result of your purchase. To speak with an AmeriHealth New Jersey licensed sales agent, call 888-879-5331 or visit the website.
Lisa DiDio is director of sales for AmeriHealth New Jersey.
*AmeriHealth Insurance Company of New Jersey | AmeriHealth HMO, Inc.