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Now is the best time to evaluate your health insurance needs.

January 12, 2016

Without health insurance, if you get sick or have an accident, you would face unexpected bills that could put a strain on your budget and put your savings at risk. Health insurance protects you from the big medical bills that often come with accidents and illnesses.

Aside from saving you money, health insurance coverage also gives you:

  • Plenty of choices when it comes to doctors. You’ll pay less for covered in-network health care, even before you meet your deductible.
  • Freedom from paying a tax penalty if you don’t have coverage.
  • Free preventive care, like cancer screenings, flu shots, routine vaccines and yearly checkups.
  • Access to affordable care. People with moderate and low incomes can be eligible for tax credits to offset the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Peace of mind knowing that your finances won’t be in jeopardy if something unexpected were to happen.

This year’s open enrollment period ends on Jan. 31, 2016.

If you are buying your own health insurance, open enrollment is the easiest way and the best time to sign up. There are fewer restrictions than at other times of the year. If you already have health insurance, you can renew or make changes to your plan during open enrollment.

This year’s open enrollment period runs through Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, for coverage that will begin on Feb. 1. If you miss this year’s open enrollment period, you won’t have health insurance coverage until you sign up during the next open enrollment at the end of the year, unless you experience a qualifying event that allows you to make changes for a brief period, such as the birth or adoption of a child.

You can obtain health coverage through the health insurance marketplace (also known as the exchange), which gives you another way to compare and buy health insurance. You may even be eligible for a government subsidy (a tax credit) to help you pay for a plan on the marketplace.

All plans in the marketplace are run by health insurance companies and have a core set of benefits called essential health benefits. These benefits include things like emergency room care, hospital stays, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs and preventive care.

Know your health insurance options.

When choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to compare costs of premiums and deductibles and review details of your coverage for doctor’s office visits, hospital care and prescriptions. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your plan gives you access to the best healthcare providers. With a mission to improve the lives of the communities it serves, Kettering Health Network is ranked in the top 5% nationally in both outcomes and quality. To learn which plans provide access to Kettering Health Network’s trusted care team, click here.