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How To Navigate The Open Enrollment Chaos to Find a Good Healthcare Plan

It’s awful.  Because of a lot of government distortions over the past century – not just from the current and previous Presidents – health care is a mess.  And right now you’re probably facing a double digit increase in your ObamaCare health insurance premium, yet we need to have protection from catastrophic events.  We can’t avoid this awful expense, unfortunately.

There are options out there, but you need to do your homework.  Don’t wait, however.  By December 15th one has to have a plan or face an IRS penalty come April. Contact your insurance broker – google one if you don’t have one – to take care of this necessity.

Sharing is a good way to get a good healthcare plan

Or consider Sharing as a way to satisfy the mandate.  They operate like insurance in that families pay a monthly fee and funds are withdrawn from a pool for expensive health episodes.  Sharing is exempt from the insurance mandate, so google “Liberty Healthshare” or “Medishare” to learn more – as just two examples of these options.  They cost a lot less than insurance, but do have limitations about which you should research before making a decision.

Most sharing plans stem from religion, so if you don’t want one with that association, try Health Excellence Plus, which is non-religious.  It also comes with a Health Savings Account which a lot of folks want.  Just search the phrase to learn more.

Some local primary docs offer unlimited service plans for a monthly fee.  Google your state and “direct primary care”.  These work great for routine care, but not hospitalization; for the latter consider the Sharing options above.

Significant healthcare reform is still needed

That’s my advice for Open Enrollment.  But there’s a longer term piece to this note as well.  And that’s reform. During the 2016 presidential campaign Gov. Gary Johnson mentioned examples of what medical offerings might arise if we truly freed the market from over-regulation. “Gall Bladders ‘R Us” was a recurring theme; entrepreneurs in a truly free market would invent treatment centers about which we’ll never hear if we don’t reform the health market.

In the context of these health reform conversations, Gov. Johnson often recommended block granting the bankrupting entitlements to the states for better service at lower cost.  He said as New Mexico’s governor that if he had been given Medicaid as a block grant with a quarter less federal funds, for example, using managed care he could give a better experience for the poor, elderly and disabled.  Any health reform we support necessarily would include the 50 states as laboratories of improvement.

So let’s use the frustration of Open Enrollment to pick a plan that works best for our families and businesses, and dedicate ourselves to the free market reforms that will make health cost containment options – whether via insurance or otherwise – more affordable, accessible and of the highest quality.

For each of us to work on a better health system, your involvement is needed to give impact.  The established institutions in healthcare aren’t motivated to reform themselves.  We’ve got to build our grassroots and plans to put the consumer in charge and restore their relationship with doctors and other health professionals.  

Good luck in Open Enrollment, and let’s put our resources together to fix the health care mess in 2018.

Charles Frohman is a consultant for Our America Initiative and My Academy of Health Excellence, producer of Health Excellence Plus. Both are strong supporters of deregulating the health services market. He can be reached at frohman.charles@gmail.com.

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