(Opinion) Charles Ritz: Now is the time to build a foundation of good health – Greeley Tribune

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We all want good health, for ourselves and for our families. That’s why many of life’s most important choices are centered around how we improve our wellness.
Part of this process is ensuring a solid foundation, which can be achieved by choosing a health plan that can help you meet your wellness goals while also maintaining affordability. For health coverage that starts Jan. 1, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) open enrollment period will end Dec. 15.
Now is the time make sure your foundation is solid, giving you and your family peace of mind heading into the new year. Selecting a new health plan may feel like a daunting task, but there are many options to choose from and plenty of resources.
From navigators to brokers to your current or prospective insurance carrier, all are ready to help.
With the cost of food, gas and utilities rising, many are feeling financial pressure, forcing them to make tough decisions. Choosing to forgo health coverage should not be one of them.
Don’t assume health insurance will add financial pressure because costs for a health plan may be more affordable than you think — and it will likely save you money in the long run. Taking the time to understand your options can help create a path to better health and potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Health plans cover essential benefits, including emergency services, prescription drugs and pediatric services.
The recent Inflation Reduction Act enhanced federal subsidies through 2025 to help keep costs down for those buying plans on the health exchange, making high quality plans very affordable. And if you haven’t qualified previously for a subsidy, check again as parameters and circumstances have changed.
Health plans offer zero-dollar preventive health. This means you pay nothing for important services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and regular check-ups. This is critical because many potentially life-threatening, not to mention expensive, health issues can often be prevented or managed through these early detection screenings.
When you start to compare, there are a few things you should pay close attention to. It could be that your current plan will not be offered next year. Even if your current insurance carrier continues to offer ACA plans, offerings can change from year to year, which is another reason to take time to understand your options.
HealthCare.Gov is a great resource with detailed information about the ACA and how to choose a plan. The ACA uses metal levels (Gold, Silver and Bronze) to categorize plans based on pricing levels, with Gold being the most benefit-rich and Bronze the more affordable.
Here in Colorado, ConnectForHealthCO.com is the state’s marketplace for comparing and selecting an individual plan. If you are an existing marketplace customer, a health plan may be automatically suggested for you by the website.
Whether you are a new or existing customer, be sure to compare all the options offered in your county. Different plans have various provider networks and price points. Take the time to review all the options and select the right plan for you.
You can’t build your healthcare future without a strong foundation. Act now and take control of your health.
— Charles Ritz has served as President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado for the past three years and he resides in Denver. Anthem has provided health plans in Colorado since 1938 and is the only health insurance provider with a plan offered in every county.
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