Pennsylvanians Urged to Review Health Insurance Options during Open Enrollment Season

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Open enrollment season is here for most health insurance plans, and state Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine is reminding Pennsylvanians that if they would like to make changes to their plan, now is the time.

"During this specific time period, you can enroll in or switch health insurance plans," Consedine said. "Insurance carriers are required to accept all applicants of the group without underwriting or evidence of insurability so take advantage and compare the plans offered to you by your employer."

Doing a cost-benefit analysis is helpful in deciding if you should switch health insurance plans. When comparing benefits packages, Consedine suggests looking at a typical year of health care and considering the worst-case scenarios.

There are special exceptions which allow you to enroll in or switch plans outside of your open enrollment period. They include life-changing events like marriage, a new child, divorce or death or when you change jobs.

Open enrollment periods vary from employer to employer. It is also important to note that this is different from the publicized Medicare open enrollment that begins next month.

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

"Wellness programs offer money-saving incentives for healthy living such as regular exercise or not smoking," Consedine added. "Also, look into tax-free or pre-tax savings, since 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 and click on the link in the "What's Hot" section in the Top News tab, or call the department's toll-free, consumer hotline at (877) 881-6388 for more information.

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

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance