There are three areas to focus on when selecting a healthcare plan: choice, experience, and care. This segment sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

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Selecting the right health benefits during Open Enrollment can feel challenging. However, reviewing the available options and choosing carefully can help you find solutions that can work for you and help you make more informed choices that may improve your health and even save money.

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers.

To make open enrollment season easier, UnitedHealthcare has these five tips:

1. Know Your Open Enrollment Dates

Enrollment periods aren’t the same for everyone, so there are key dates to keep in mind depending on your situation. For the more than 178 million Americans with employer-provided coverage, many employers set aside a two-week period between September and December when employees can select health benefits for the following year. If you’re enrolled in Medicare, Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

2. Take Time to Review Your Options

Take the time to explore your options and understand the benefits and costs of each plan so you can find the coverage that works best for you. Pay attention to more than just the monthly premium. You also should understand what out-of-pocket costs, including the deductible, copays and coinsurance, you may be responsible for. Also, consider any changes to your health over the last year or if you have any major health events planned for 2021 – such as having a baby or surgery – to determine if your current coverage still fits your needs.

3. Try Virtual Visits

Check to see if your plan includes 24/7 telehealth coverage, which is an increasingly popular service because of the pandemic and an ideal way for you to talk to your doctor about minor health issues in the comfort of your own home. Many UnitedHealthcare members can tap into a network of health care practitioners via secure, real-time audio-video on their computer or smartphone.

4. Prevent Financial Surprises

Before you select a plan, check to see if your doctor is in your health plan’s care provider network. Visiting doctors that are in-network is one way to help keep your costs lower. If you select a plan that would make your visit to a particular doctor or hospital outside the network, make sure you understand the costs. Also, see if your medications are covered by the plan. Even if you don’t expect to change plans, it’s important to make sure your drugs will still be covered in 2021.

5. Look for Ways to Save

Ask about incentive-based wellness programs that reward you for living a healthier lifestyle. Some health plans offer incentives for their members to participate in activities that may help improve their health, such as completing a health assessment, visiting a gym, lowering their cholesterol, participating in a wellness-coaching or tobacco-cessation program, or even just walking.

For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.

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