Office Visit: It’s Time for Open Enrollment

Office Visit: It’s Time for Open Enrollment

Lee esto en EspañolBy Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D.

It’s that time of year to make choices about your family’s health care coverage. Whether you sign up for health insurance through your employer, qualify for Medicare, or you need to purchase a health plan, take time to research your options and make your selections before the enrollment deadline.

If you’re generally healthy, you might think you can get by without health insurance. Unfortunately, none of us can predict when we will get sick or injured. Without health insurance, you could find yourself stuck with unexpected medical bills—and the costs add up quickly. Health insurance gives you the peace of mind to focus on getting healthy rather than wondering how you’re going to pay your bills.

If you have children, making sure they’re covered is one of the best ways to support your child’s wellness. Health plans include important services like preventive care, pediatric services and vaccination coverage that are important for keeping kids healthy.

Health insurance coverage can be more affordable than you think. Income and family size may qualify you for cost assistance, including a tax credit that lowers your monthly premium and cost-sharing assistance to lower your out-of-pocket costs.

There are a few steps you’ll want to take to prepare for Open Enrollment. Make note of the deadline to sign up for coverage and mark it on your calendar. Prior to starting the enrollment process, gather personal information, including earning records for all family members and proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status. Planning ahead will make the whole process simpler.

If you don’t know where to start, there are resources and personal, one-on-one help to help you navigate the enrollment process. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, we have a team available to visit with you by phone or online to help choose the best health care plan to meet your needs. They can also check if you qualify for financial assistance. Email to set up an appointment.

When it comes to your health insurance, it’s important to make the right choices for you and your family. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and family who need coverage. Learn more at

Dr. Joseph R. CunninghamJoseph R. Cunningham, M.D. is the president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.

(For more Office Visit columns by Dr. Cunningham, visit The Journal Record.) leaving site icon