It may be time to re-evaluate your health plan

By: Ashley Prchal Email
By: Ashley Prchal Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Every year Open Enrollment comes around, giving employees the chance to make changes to their health care plans at work.

Experts say most people just stay with what they already have, but you may want to shop around first.

Jenny Wilder is a stay at home mom of three. Her entire family is on her husband's group insurance plan through his employer. But she's having second thoughts about their health plan.

"Price-wise it might be better for us to have our own insurance," says Wilder.

In the next few months, the Wilders and many others will have the opportunity to switch up their insurance plan during open enrollment.

"We've looked into doing our own without the company and this year we've looked into it a lot more because it will probably save us a little more money than going through our employer," says Wilder.

Wilder admits she normally doesn't make adjustments to her plan.

"Pretty much we just go with what we had last year. We don't usually change much of anything," says Wilder.

But as Randy Pifer with Employee Benefits Consulting says, this year that's not a good idea.

"Unfortunately as the premiums rise a lot of employer groups can not absorb those entire costs and they do pass those on to the employees," says Pifer.

Pifer says too many employees just click a button and choose the health care plan they had last year without realizing they may be paying more and getting less.

"During an opportunity for Open Enrollment, employees need to pay a little closer attention. There are a number of factors they can use in their favor in order to develop a better program for themselves and their family," says Pifer.

Pifer says in most cases under group policies families with one child will pay the same premium as families with 10.

"Families that are covered under group medical programs, they should most certainly investigate in getting individual policies for either their spouses or children on the group program," says Pifer.

Because sometimes breaking from the crowd can be in your best interest.

"Employees, if they would do a little homework and shop around for rates, they would be able to save some premium dollars," says Pifer.

As for Wilder, her days of clicking a button without doing her homework are over. "Low deductible is what we're looking for," she says.

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