It’s time for one of the most confusing, frustrating rituals of the year: health care open enrollment. Over the coming weeks and months, people across the country will consider many questions: Is it better to have a high premium and a low deductible, or the other way around? How are you supposed to guess how much money to put in a flexible spending account? Does dental insurance actually, you know, do anything? Please remind me, what is “coinsurance” again?
The whole annual ordeal raises a bigger question, too: Why is all of this so complicated?
Vox’s reporters embarked on an in-depth exploration of our health care system to get the answers and provide useful guides to readers on navigating the choices they face, while also helping them understand why those choices exist in the first place.
The package features the following stories:
Dylan Scott’s four pieces, in which he:
- examines one of the most perplexing tax incentives within the American health care system — flexible spending;
- argues that sustained frustration with the open enrollment process is key to fixing it;
- explores why Americans find themselves tethered to their employers’ health care plans;
- and explains the subtle privatization of Medicare and answers most of our health care questions.
Allie Volpe provides readers with four questions they should ask themselves when picking a new health insurance plan.
And finally, Emily Stewart explains why we pay to go to the dentist and why dental insurance is not actually insurance.