5 Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting Your 2021 Health Plan

(Family Features) Premiums are often the biggest consideration when choosing your health plan during open enrollment each year. However, paying close attention to what different plans include can make a major difference in the scope of services and types of care available to you as well as what your out-of-pocket costs are.

While considering your health care options, be sure to consider important aspects of a potential plan such as:

Telehealth Offerings

Many health care providers are expanding the types of services they offer via web-based virtual calls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having access to medical personnel remotely can eliminate a trip to the doctor’s office to treat common ailments such as a sore throat, cough or fever. If your plan does cover telehealth visits, be sure to understand the costs compared to traditional visits, as well as whether the offering is temporary during the pandemic or expected to continue as a plan feature throughout the plan year.

Behavioral Health Offerings

The pandemic is taking an emotional toll on Americans, and part of managing your mental health includes knowing what kind of behavioral health offerings are available to you with your health plan. Options offered by Providence Health Plan, for example, allow members access to well-being support from mental health care professionals in-person or virtually. Virtual visits provide more timely access to counseling services.

Provider Network

Knowing that your providers and facilities are in your plan’s network is essential. This may mean verifying that the most conveniently located hospital for you or loved ones is in-network if you have an emergency or need surgery, or it may mean ensuring a favorite doctor can still continue to see you if you switch plans.

Community-Based Care

For many people, there are some less-tangible considerations when choosing a plan that have more to do with how the business interacts with the communities it serves. People who prefer stores and brands that make community a priority might also want to look at their health plan options in the same way. For example, Providence Health Plan employees are all members of the surrounding communities and many volunteer their time at local organizations.

COVID-19 Support

In the wake of COVID-19, many health plans have taken steps to ensure their members have access to the health care resources they need. Measures may include enhancements to coverage or an online hub of COVID-related resources like assessment tools, wellness resources for mental and physical health, research updates and more. By providing information and resources to communities, including vulnerable members of the population, health plans help ensure patients are aware of their health care options.

Find more information to assist you in selecting a health plan that includes your priority benefits this enrollment period at providencehealthplan.com.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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