Open enrollment can be confusing. At Cattle Raisers Insurance, we get it and we’re here to help. We took the time to chat with Michele Woodham, TSCRA executive director of insurance services, to answer some of the most frequently asked open enrollment questions.
Q: What is an individual medical plan and who qualifies for an individual medical plan?
A: An individual medical plan is a medical plan purchased directly through an insurance company rather than a group or an employer. Any individual under age 65 looking for new medical coverage or wanting to replace their current individual medical plan qualifies.
Q: Why are we limited to open enrollment for individual medical plans?
A: This change came with the passage of the Health Care Reform Law. Individuals have been regulated as to when they are able to make a change to their individual medical plans throughout the year. These dates are now known as Open Enrollment. This year, the dates are a bit different. We’ve been given an extension that allows individuals through Jan. 15 to enroll or make changes to their individual medical plans. There are exceptions to every rule, though. Should you get married, have a child, lose coverage, or experience other qualifying events, they are able to make changes to their coverage. These changes must be made within a 31-day window of the qualifying event.
Q: What should you look for in an insurance brokerage service?
A: First and foremost, you should look for a brokerage that is trustworthy and has your best interest in mind. It is also great to look for a brokerage service that has experience and will be around for the long term. This can prevent future needs to switch agencies, saving you time and headaches. Also, look for brokerages that offer a broad range of insurance carriers to ensure you have options and resources at your disposal.
Q: What sets CRI apart?
A: CRI shares common values with our clients. We understand the importance of service and working alongside folks that you trust. We are able to give prompt, precise and personable service throughout the year.
Q: Do I have to be a member of TSCRA to partner with CRI?
A: Not at all. You do not have to be a member to partner with CRI. CRI welcomes everyone.
Q: What coverage is right for me?
A: This is a personal decision that varies for everyone. It is important to have a comfortable deductible, meaning out of pocket fees you are willing to pay. You should also look at premiums which are your shared cost with the insurance carrier, and most importantly, the proper doctor/hospital network available when selecting an individual medical plan. But don’t worry – this is not something you have to do alone. We will guide you through the process to determine your goals, needs, and ultimately the right coverage for you to find the perfect medical plan. Our staff can create customized plans to protect the things that matter most to you.
Q: What advice would you give ranchers exploring individual medical plans?
A: Utilize the CRI team! We are happy to explore options for you and your family and to answer any questions you may have. We’re here to ensure you fully understand your individual medical plan offerings and all of your options.
Ready to get partner with the insurance agency made for cattle raisers and everything they love? Give Cattle Raisers Insurance a call at 1-800-252-2849.