To everything there is a season. With the advent of year 2011 around the corner, it is timely to review goals and revamp them or come up with new goals, as necessary. January is a good time to evaluate insurance plans as well. How well did your plan perform for you in year 2010? Are your rates going up shortly? For people who are on a deductible plan, January is an especially good time to go over your health plan because deductibles reset back to zero in January and you’ve got the next 12 months to meet the deductible. Also, verify that the deductible limit makes sense for the type of services you need.
For a number of insurance companies, the month of January marks rate increases for people who are not yet enrolled. If you start an insurance plan effective January 2011 or later, it’s likely that you’ll be affected by new rates. For Kaiser Permanente, a number of regional offices will be adjusting rates in January and July, starting in 2011. Once a person is enrolled, the rates are locked in, until the next January or July, in some regions. This means that in some states, if you enroll for an effective date of January 2011, your rate will be valid until January 2012. The rate will be unchanged unless you relocate or make other changes that impact your rate. A few Kaiser Permanente locations are decreasing rates; most are increasing. The average increase is approximately 10-15% of the previous rates.
In addition to rate modifications, some health insurance plans may be different from what they were in 2010. In compliance with the Health Reform law, insurance plans will allow members to receive preventive services without paying a fee.