Tips for Picking a Health Insurance Plan for Illinoisans

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

By: Colleen Van Ham, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Illinois

Open enrollment is underway or about to begin for millions of Illinois residents shopping for family or individual health insurance coverage for 2016. Whether you’re buying health insurance for the first time or considering changing from your current plan, the process can often be confusing. Therefore, it’s important to understand your health plan options so you can find a plan that will help enhance your health and possibly save money in the year ahead. The following tips can help you select a plan that makes financial sense while providing the benefits you and your family need:

Be aware there are three distinct open enrollment periods
If you are choosing a plan for yourself and helping family members with their health insurance decisions, the timing could vary.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period – For most Medicare beneficiaries, the Open Enrollment Period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is their only opportunity to make changes to their Medicare coverage for next year.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Health Insurance Marketplace – A public health insurance exchange may be a good option for people under 65 who don’t have health insurance. For the exchanges, open enrollment starts Nov. 1, 2015, and ends Jan. 31, 2016. To learn more, visit

Select care providers who participate in the insurer’s network
Even if you don’t plan to make any changes to your health insurance, it’s still a good idea to ensure any doctor you plan to visit during the coming year participates in your plan’s care provider network.

Don’t forget about other benefits
Specialty benefits such as dental, vision, accident or even critical illness plans are often cost-effective options and cover annual teeth cleanings and eye exams or provide financial benefits for unexpected situations. Many vision plans also offer reduced pricing on frames and lenses.

Comments are closed.