insurance

Oh no -- my health insurance is expiring!

Jack HungelmannDear Insurance Adviser,
I have had great health insurance for more than 30 years. The policy will expire in six months, and I will have to look for a new one. What should I do right now to take advantage of any elements in my existing health insurance that I might not get with my new one?
-- Geri

Dear Geri,
Don't worry: A new plan will likely be comparable or even superior to the coverage you currently have.

You don't say why you are losing your health insurance coverage in six months. After 30 years, maybe you are leaving a job and losing your group insurance, or it could be that you are turning age 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare.

Options for new, excellent coverage will be available to you through:

  • Medicare and its supplements.
  • The many private health insurance plans available through Obamacare (if you're still younger than 65).

In either case, coverage should be as good as or better than the plan you have now. And best of all, you can qualify for either program regardless of your health! You can't be denied coverage or charged extra for any pre-existing health conditions.

I'm a big believer in freedom of choice with health plans, because if you or a family member contracts a serious medical problem, you want to be able to self-refer to specialists who may or may not be in your network of approved providers.

That said, check to make sure all your current doctors whom you want to continue to see are in-network for a plan you're considering. As long as you have that going for you, you cannot choose poorly.

And even if you make a choice that you aren't 100 percent happy with, both Medicare and Obamacare have annual open enrollment periods when you can apply for something better.

Although you can buy any health plan today without an agent, I strongly recommend that you work with an agent who is a health insurance specialist. Make a better choice than you would have on your own, and the agent won't cost you a penny more.

Good luck!

Compare health insurance costs to find the best plan for you.

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