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Shopping for Health this Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching, and there’s one must-have for every shopping list: health insurance. To help you navigate the process, I’ve compiled a list of the four things you need to know when choosing and enrolling in a health plan.

  1. If you are looking for a health plan for yourself, your children, or the whole family that will start providing coverage on January 1, you have until December 15 to enroll online or over the phone. Your health plan selection is important and deserves time for consideration, so start early and don’t wait until the last day to enroll.
  2. If you don’t enroll by December 15, you’ll still have time to get covered because open enrollment continues until January 31, 2016. Coverage can then start February 1 or as late as March 1, 2016. Again, don’t wait until the last minute to take care of this or you risk paying a penalty at tax time.
  3. When you have narrowed down your health plan choices, check with your doctor and don’t rely solely on the online provider directories maintained by insurance companies. Online directories are not always up-to-date or your physician may be planning to leave the network in the near future.
  4. Don’t shop based on insurance premiums only. The lowest price plan is not always the most affordable one when you take other factors into account. Use our decision support tool to calculate your estimated out-of-pocket costs under each plan option. The results may surprise you.

You can get a qualified health plan with comprehensive benefits from numerous sources, but I recommend shopping on a private exchange that has broader networks and more plan options.

Shop and compare plans anonymously and at your own pace at

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