Health + Fitness

Open Enrollment 101

Our 2012 Open Enrollment Elections are complete!

Always being the eternal optimist, I believe all of our choices lead us in the right direction. It’s the curves in the road that throw us off & hopefully we can learn from past mistakes.

Last year at Open Enrollment, our family was healthy & I choose our Healthcare Insurance based on that information. This year however, with a Cancer diagnosis & follow-up monitoring for 5 years, we are planning accordingly.

Being a Cancer survivor has taught me to be keenly aware of what you can & can’t control. The lesson here is that our family needs to maximize our Healthcare Insurance while keeping costs down. I compared 2 choices: United Healthcare’s Choice Plus, which offered an 80/20 In-Network allowable split, lower out of pocket max’s, but higher premiums each bi-weekly payroll. The catch here was I could keep my present doctors who helped me to be Cancer free or go an entirely different route & check out Kaiser.

I’m very familiar with Kaiser since I had it when I was a kid. I made numerous phone calls to Kaiser’s Member Services Department to speak to the “right” person for questions I had before enrolling. This process lead me to my decision. I was told to go online & pick a doctor based on their bio, & check to see if they were accepting new patients.

My main concern wasn’t the primary doctor, but getting the referral to the Oncologist I wanted. There was no guarantee in this proactive process.

Frustrated with the HMO’s lack of sense of urgency & the amount of time I spent trying to secure a doctor, we went ahead & enrolled with our current United Healthcare coverage.

Only this time we have higher premiums with better coverage which hopefully will give our family peace of mind, which in my opinion is “priceless”.

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