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5 Ways to Save During 2023 Open Enrollment

Health insurance. You know you need it, but why does it have to be so darn expensive—and complicated?

In 2020, the average American family with a $100,000 household income paid $4,800 in health insurance premiums for their employer-sponsored plan.1 Ouch. But it gets worse! When you add in out-of-pocket costs and taxes for health programs (like Medicare), they end up paying  $11,650 in total medical costs.2

Maybe there’s a better way. When it comes to health insurance, you could be leaving money on the table. We’re going to share five ways to save money on health insurance in 2023.

But first, let’s take a quick look at open enrollment and the marketplace for 2023 coverage.

What You Need to Know About the Marketplace and Open Enrollment

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) formed the health insurance marketplace to give people a way to compare and sign up for health insurance. Today, anyone can go on healthcare.gov and choose an individual or family health insurance policy. Depending on where you live, the marketplace is either federally based or run by your state.

When Is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment is that convenient window when you can get coverage for the next year. And it happens every year, with at least a few changes happening each time—so “set it and forget it” is not an option. You need to pay attention every year.

Do you have the right health insurance coverage? Connect with a Trusted pro today.

For employer-sponsored plans, open enrollment is typically in the fall. On the marketplace, it’s usually from November 1 until December 15, but in 2021, open enrollment was extended an extra month—and that flexibility is getting a repeat in 2022. So in most states this year, marketplace open enrollment lasts from November 1, 2022, until January 15, 2023. Check out the exceptions in the chart below.

If you miss open enrollment, you can still get coverage after January 15 if you qualify with certain life events, like having a baby or losing your job.

Open Enrollment by State

State

Open Enrollment for ACA Marketplace

Every state but the oddballs below

Nov. 1 to Jan. 15

California

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

District of Columbia

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

Idaho

Oct. 15 to Dec. 15

Maryland

Nov. 1 to Dec. 15

Massachusetts

Nov. 1 to Jan. 23

New Jersey

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

New York

Nov. 16 to Jan. 31

Rhode Island

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

Now that you have the dates, let’s find ways to save you some money!

5 Ways to Save Money During Open Enrollment

1. Don’t automatically go with your employer’s option.

Your employer’s plan might not be all it’s cracked up to be. It’s easy to assume your employer health insurance package is a great deal. Employers often get discounted rates by buying health insurance plans in bulk (just like Costco, but with health insurance!). This isn’t always the case though.

Your employer’s plan might be horrible (as in, horribly expensive, or it might be your best option—and you’ll never know the truth if you don’t shop around. The key factor here is to see how much your employer will share the costs of the premiums. Another benefit of enrolling in a workplace plan is the convenience of having the premiums deducted from your paycheck pretax, lowering your taxable income for the year (yes, please!). But even with the cost sharing and the tax benefit, it’s worth checking out the marketplace to see if you can save.

2. Compare different plans and shop around.

About 175 companies offer health plans on the marketplace. This gives you a ton of options to find a plan that saves you money. Many states have three or more options available, and you’d be crazy not to compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best bang for that buck.

3. See if you qualify for a tax credit.

No surprise here, but a lot has changed in 2020 and 2021. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it’s easier than ever to get help paying for health insurance.3 Even if you weren’t eligible before, you should check again to see if you could save. A tax credit could offset some of health insurance’s high costs. You could also see some savings if you received unemployment compensation in 2022.4

4. Start a Health Savings Account (HSA).

If health insurance had a superpower, it would be the Health Savings Account. Under certain plans (like a high-deductible health insurance plan, or HDHP), you can use an HSA to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to use later to pay for a variety of medical expenses. You don’t pay taxes on the money you put into your HSA, and you don’t pay taxes when you use it to pay for qualifying medical expenses. Did we say tax-free? Yep.

Another beautiful thing about HSAs is that the money rolls over from year to year. So, you can pile up some serious dough. And a lot of employers offer an HSA match—meaning if you put in $500, they’ll add $500 too. Nice! You can also invest the funds so they grow (tax-free) while you’re sleeping. What a dream!

5. Improve your health and lifestyle.

Imagine not needing health insurance because you’re so healthy. Now, that’s not actually possible (you never want to risk being without insurance!). But this much is possible: only paying your premiums and never needing to actually use the insurance. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds! You can get closer to making this a reality if you take steps to improve your habits and make healthier choices.

Eat better. Sleep (yes, just put your phone down and go to sleep). And you guessed it, exercise. We know—shocking, right? But all joking aside, the healthier you are, the less care you may need. And the more you’ll save.

See How Much You Could Save

Here’s bonus tip #6. Instead of doing all the legwork yourself—shopping around, comparing quotes, contrasting this, contrasting that—you could hand that work over to a trusted and independent insurance agent who’s part of our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program.

Our pros are RamseyTrusted, so they can give you excellent guidance, shop for you (nice!) to see how you could save money, and get you better coverage at the same time. That’s called a win-win-win! They can also explain what the heck you’re paying for before you start shelling out for those premiums.

Connect with an ELP today to see how much you could potentially save on health insurance.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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