PA Health Insurance Consumers Urged to Weigh Options During Open Enrollment Season

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Open enrollment season is the ideal time for consumers to re-evaluate their health insurance needs, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine said today.

"If your employer offers you a choice in health options, now is the time to decide if you have the right coverage in place," Consedine said. "Do a cost-benefit analysis and consider any changes in your family and its medical needs."

When comparing benefits packages, Consedine suggests consumers should look at a year of typical care and also consider possible worst-case scenarios.

Consumers should consider the scope of the benefit package as well as cost when choosing among plans. Insurance carriers are required to accept all applicants of the group without underwriting or evidence of insurability.

Some employers also offer wellness incentives for staying healthy that can help to lower premiums or co-pays.

"Wellness programs offer money-saving incentives for healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly or not smoking," Consedine added. "Also, look into tax-free or pre-tax savings, as you may be eligible to open a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), and don't forget to ask about dependent-care savings accounts."

To download a helpful fact sheet on the open enrollment season, visit www.insurance.pa.gov and click on the "health insurance" tab, or call the department's toll-free, automated consumer hotline at 1-877-881-6388 for more information.

Media contact: Rosanne Placey or Melissa Fox, 717-787-3289

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance

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