Each fall, the health insurance marketplace conducts Open Enrollment. This is the period during which all Californians can compare policies, apply for a credit to help cover premiums, and make a choice about which health insurance plan they want to use. If you’re satisfied with your current plan, you might not need to do anything at all during this time. But most of the time, it’s still a good idea to compare policies and make certain that your current one is still the best fit for you.
You might have new options available to you. The health insurance market is unlikely to change drastically in only one year’s time, but new plans are usually made available each fall. Even if you like your current plan, there might be a new one that is a better fit for your needs. Prices might also shift, so it makes sense to do a little comparison shopping each year.
Your circumstances might have changed. A change in family structure, employment, income, and many other factors could mean that your current plan is no longer the best fit for your needs. For example, if you’re now making more money, you might now be comfortable with a policy that carries a higher deductible. If your eligibility for the credit has changed, this could have an impact on your choice of policy.
Your medical needs might be changing. If you’ve developed a chronic condition over the past year, you might need to switch to a health insurance plan that offers better prescription benefits, or covers a certain specialist that you need. If you’re planning a pregnancy or major operation in the next year, it might make sense to switch to a plan that carries a lower deductible.
There are many reasons that it makes sense to check out your options before allowing your health insurance policy to automatically renew. At the very least, log into Covered California this fall to update your financial information, so that your credit (if any) is calculated correctly. Keep in mind that unless you experience a qualifying event next year, you won’t be able to make changes to your health insurance plan until the next Open Enrollment season.