COLUMBUS – ‘Tis the season for shopping so why not add insurance to the list? There’s a decent chance you could save some money.
Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor said the holiday season, with family and friends together, is an opportune time to review insurance and initiate comparing plan benefits, customer service and price. Or go at it alone if that’s more your style.
“A little bit of time invested could net a nice result,” said Taylor, also director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Sometimes we can view the comparison exercise as more chore than return but that shouldn’t be the mindset.”
Taylor pointed to her Think Again life situations initiative as a resource to jump start action. Material available at www.insurance.ohio.gov organized by life stage can guide insurance discussion and evaluation. The website also contains insurer consumer complaint ratio data for different coverage types.
Ohioans should be aware that certain deadlines are looming for 2017 coverage. For example, the federal health insurance exchange enrollment closing date is Dec. 15 for coverage to take effect Jan. 1. The last day to enroll in or change a 2017 exchange health plan is Jan. 31.
Holiday season insurance shopping tips:
- Review your insurance needs with an agent. Some agents represent multiple companies. You can also contact different insurance companies yourself.
- Use more than price to decide. Seek company and agent recommendations from family and friends.
- Many companies offer discounts if you purchase more than one policy from them.
- Consider raising your deductible to lower your premium.
- Health plan benefits and the premium can change yearly. What works one year might not the next. Review if the health plan covers your preferred medical providers, facilities, pharmacy, and needed prescription drugs.
If you have insurance questions call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 or 1-800-686-1578 if they’re Medicare specific.