Wednesday, November 8, 2017

As open enrollment season kicks off, many adults will start reviewing available insurance options as they prepare for 2018.

An estimated 41 million Americans are underinsured, meaning they have health insurance but have out-of-pocket costs or deductibles that are high relative to their incomes. Choosing a plan that adequately meets your medical needs is essential to your health, especially if you, like millions of Americans, take a prescription medicine.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when selecting a plan for 2018:

  1. Review all of your options: Many people simply renew their existing coverage without exploring other options. If your existing plan works well to manage your prescription needs, that’s great! But if you experienced surprise out-of-pocket costs last year, it might be important to review new plan options.
  2. Check to see which plans cover your medicines: Once you review available plans, it’s time to find the plan that’s right for you. Identify all the medicines you will need covered and then narrow down your list of plans.
  3. Compare costs and features: Every plan is different, so look at monthly premiums and the out-of-pocket costs associated with your medicines. Check to see whether plans offer mail-order prescription refills or in-person refills before deciding on a plan.

Talking about health care can be a confusing conversation, but knowing your insurance options can make a difference in your health and coverage. Here are some additional online resources to help you during this decision. And don’t forget: You have until December 15, 2017 to sign up and review your coverage.

If you or someone you love struggles with affordable access to medicines, there are resources available that may be able to help. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps connect patients with patient assistance programs that provide free or nearly free prescription medicines. For more information, visit