What to Consider When Choosing a Health Plan

This story is part of our September 2022 print edition. To subscribe, click here.

Soon it will be time for the open enrollment. Choosing a health plan can be daunting because you can’t know which doctor or health company will best suit you or your family’s needs. Companies compete to be your provider, flooding you with brochures, emails, and media ads. Comstock spoke to some local experts who offer tips for workers and employers.

dr Dignity Health’s Bianca Roberts says the best way to start is by choosing your GP. Go through the companies’ websites and find one that appeals to you. Roberts says that Dignity Health’s physicians not only make their health specialties available, but also their nursing philosophies, personal interests, and hobbies so you can learn more about them.

dr Bianca Roberts of Dignity Health recommends finding a GP to connect with as the first step in managing your health.

“The GP is actually the doctor who coordinates and manages your overall health. We keep everyone up to date on all of their health screenings and also treat complex illnesses,” says Roberts. “It’s really important to choose a GP that you feel comfortable with.”

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Choosing a doctor becomes easier when you break it down. Do you have a gender preference? Are you looking for someone close to where you live or work? Or are you caring for a family member and want to be closer to them? Healthcare has seen a significant increase in virtual visits, and if that’s what you prefer, look for doctors who offer telemedicine.

If you have an illness like heart disease or cancer, Roberts recommends doing some research to find out which healthcare company specializes in this treatment. Your doctor will also refer you to a specialist in this field.

Cost is a big factor these days. Roberts says you shouldn’t just look at cost, look at value. Families providing medical care to their children should also consider a provider’s emergency care services.

“Look at Medicare reviews. Each medical group is rated by Medicare for its ability not only to keep patients out of the hospital, but to allow them to make real cost savings by providing health screenings, screening, blood pressure monitoring, and other things to keep a population healthy.” , says Roberts.

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Erin Ocheltree is Director of Benefits at Bender Insurance Solutions, which develops benefit programs for employers. Ocheltree says it’s important for employers to listen to their workers’ needs when creating health plans for them.

“We usually think first. We always ask what are your pain points? What works well and what doesn’t work for you? What are your goals — budget, work ethic, employee retention, or attracting new employees?” Ochelbaum says.

Bender creates health plans that are tailored to a company’s needs, and these days companies offer more for workers to keep them, such as: B. Payments for mental health assessments, therapy, or wellness such as gym memberships. The pandemic has also transformed healthcare as more people seek wellness programs and telemedicine.

“I think it’s important for employers to know that the health and well-being of their employees has a direct impact on how well they work for the employer. So it’s a pretty worthy investment to spend a little money to give someone something of value, like a gym membership or some money for therapy.”

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“They want to create bespoke solutions for them (employers) so that they provide benefits to their employees. Each employee may have different needs.”

Companies like Bender that develop medical services for employers typically offer their employees two or three healthcare companies to choose from. They also offer enrollment systems to help employees set up their health accounts.

“Everyone has different needs when it comes to health insurance. Someone who is a heavy user or has an ongoing illness will want a different plan than someone with young children or someone who is single and doesn’t use their benefits as often. It’s important that all of these people are covered,” says Ocheltree.

Open enrollment is November 1st through December 15th, so take your time to find one that suits you best.

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