Needless to say that choosing health insurance may seem a nightmare for most people. It has the tricky pitfalls that can be invisible, on the surface, but substantial, in reality. How to choose health insurance – there is a topic of today’s article. Check out 6 effective tips to choose the best variant among hundreds of health insurance companies.
Don’t Wait till Last Minute
Why do people postpone important things till the last minute? Doing everything beforehand frees you from a last-minute headache and allows you to conduct quality work. When it comes to choosing health insurance, doing it as soon as possible helps you to:
- Conduct research and apply to the professional company that will provide you with quality service and tempting offers.
- Scan all available options and choose those, which are necessary for you.
- Apply to a friendly and relaxed service center instead of busy and irritated one.
Don’t Lose Contacts with Your Doctor
If you prefer to attend a particular doctor and don’t want to change him/her, make sure you are applying for the health insurance that meets his requirements. Some doctors work with private plans provided by particular companies while others accept plans from federal or state Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
If you haven’t preferred any certain professional until now or have recently moved, it’s also possible to choose among available doctors from large networks and coordinate an insurance plan with him/her.
Where to Apply for Health Insurance?
You may choose health insurance provided by your employer or try to pick up a belay independently. You may agree on the health insurance offered by your employer. This way, you don’t need the help of the government insurance exchanges or marketplaces.
Furthermore, you don’t apply for premium subsidies, which provide the exchange plans for a lower price.
Otherwise, check out the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for health insurance. 13 states have their own marketplace and the federal government represents the other.
When it comes to choosing either the Affordable Care Act marketplaces or the federal government, it’s better to apply to an amazing tool –HealthCare.gov– that automatically matches the necessary marketplace.
The third variant is represented by private health insurance companies.
Cons: you lose discounts to your monthly premiums as you are free from the premium subsidies.
Pros: you can apply for private plans for lower prices.
If you decided to look for health insurance online, check out irreplaceable resources by Health Sherpa and NerdWallet.
Maximum Premium Budget Management
Premium budget is a sum of money you can monthly spend on your health insurance. To coordinate your premium payment, do the following things beforehand:
- Count up how much have you spent on your health care overall during the previous year. If this sum of money is regular, divide it by 12 and get a monthly payment for your health insurance.
- If you are pregnant or plan to have a baby, need surgery soon, have unplanned treatment soon, choose a plan with a higher premium that will cover your emergency health care costs.
- If the aforementioned variants aren’t affordable, choose a high-deductible health plan that includes HSA. This account allows you to save money now to use them later for untaxed health care bills.
Consider Your Personal Costs
Most of the federal and state marketplaces provide information about your personal or out-of-pocket costs. Your goal is to find out what costs your potential plan covers. Emphasize those plans that provide on out-of-pocket cost sharing.
A plan with low out-of-pocket costs is, typically, for:
- People who attend doctor regularly
- People who often need emergency health care
- People who need brand-name medicine
- Pregnant or women, who plan to have a baby or already has a baby
- People who need imaging options (MRI/CT scans) soon
- People with diabetes or cancer
A plan with higher out-of-pocket costs is for:
- People who can’t afford a low out-of-pocket cost plan
- People who are healthy
- People who are exposed to risk
Look for Additional Services
A service that offers a wider scope of services always gets extra points. Some services are good at emergency coverage; others are good at coverage for physical therapy or imaging procedures. Such option targets health insurance to the needs of your family.
Furthermore, it’s always important to get everything possible from health insurance now to get appropriate help in the future.