Office of Commissioner of Insurance Releases Coverage Map
OCI Reminds Consumers Open Enrollment Period Starts on November 1
Madison, WI—Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel reminds Wisconsinites that the health insurance open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2015, and ends January 31, 2016. Open enrollment allows individuals to re-enroll in their existing health insurance plans or to shop for a new plan.
"One of the most important actions a consumer can take is to shop for insurance every year," stated Insurance Commissioner Nickel. "Spending a little time now can ensure you have the coverage you need next year."
It is important to note that plans may have changed their premiums, networks, deductibles and coinsurance. If you receive a subsidy through the federal exchange, it is also important to understand how the subsidy will impact the cost of your plan. In order to better understand your plan options you may:
- Work with a local insurance agent;
- Contact a navigator or certified application counselor (for a complete list visit
- Visit the federal Web site,
- Call 1-800-318-2596 to speak to an exchange official
Many consumers may find that their insurer options may have changed from years past. This is because a number of insurers have changed their service areas. In some cases, insurers have chosen to enter new service areas and expand coverage. In other cases, insurers may no longer be providing coverage in some counties. In order to help with this process, OCI is providing access to an interactive map (oci.wi.gov/healthcare_ref/find_health_insurer.htm) that will show you all the carriers available in your county and a link to the company Web site so you can explore plan options. The current service area map is also available at the above link if you wish to see what has changed in your area.
Remember, the cheapest policy may not be the best option. Some things that should be considered when deciding to change or keep one's current plan include:
- Will the plan allow you to see the providers you want?
- Will your current doctors accept your coverage?
- Will the plan cover the prescription drugs you are currently taking?
- What are the benefits that are excluded?
- What is the total cost to you, including premiums, coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket expenses?
- If you have a specific health condition, is one type of plan better suited to provide the services you need?
Generally, plans that offer you more freedom in choosing providers or that cover additional benefits will cost you more, either in premiums or out-of-pocket expenses.
Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.