Finding the right health insurance plan for you can be a daunting task. There is so much to read, compare, and decipher. It can truly be overwhelming at first. But, with a little careful consideration while following some basic steps, you will be on the path towards picking the perfect insurance plan.
Step 1: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
It’s no secret that health insurance plans can be confusing. There is a lot of jargon that can be unclear or puzzling, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t need to be embarrassed if you don’t know what terms like ‘deductible’, ‘risk adjustment’ or ‘cost-sharing’ mean.
Step 2: Know your budget.
Sitting down and figuring out what your budget will allow for good health insurance coverage is important. Just like you figure out how much your mortgage or car payments will be before taking them on, so you should figure out how much you can spend for health care. Then, look closely at various plans and see how much you’ll need to pay monthly out of pocket, whether it’s a bulk amount out of your paycheck, or just with co-pays. These costs can add up quickly, so make sure you compare plans and see exactly what your cost obligations will be.
Step 3: Identify the essentials.
There are a lot of different plans out there for health insurance coverage, so to make things a little more simple, begin by creating a checklist of some of your must-haves or things that you can’t (or shouldn’t) live without. This step can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For example, will you need maternity coverage? Do you want full coverage for surgeries, tests, or screenings, or do you not mind paying a small portion for these types of things to meet a deductible? There is no need to pay more for services that you know you won’t need. So determine what you really need and are willing to pay for, then go from there.
In addition, consider what doctors you have liked in the past and find out if they are included in the network you are considering. Many times, you can find this information through an online directory or by calling the doctor’s office directly. You should always make sure that the doctors or hospitals you use or the ones that are most convenient for you are covered in your network.
Step 4: Look at past health trends.
Did you go to the doctor a lot last year? Are you taking medications on a regular basis or do you require prescriptions often? Or, do you have a family history of cancer, diabetes, or other serious health conditions that may require you to be treated by a doctor regularly? These are all questions that you should ask yourself to make sure that you find a coverage plan that includes what you need at monthly or yearly premiums you can afford.
Step 5: Compare, compare, and compare.
Just like you shop and compare makes and models of cars, so you should also shop and compare various health care companies and the plans they offer. What works for one family or individual, might not be what works for you. It’s ok to get quotes from a lot of different places, then sit down and evaluate your options. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of who you’ve talked to and what they’re offering you. Find out what method works best for you to compare your choices. After doing a broad comparison, then consider narrowing down the list to the top 2 or 3 plans that work for you.
With the perfect health care plan, there comes peace of mind. Knowing that you have great health insurance coverage, you’ll be confident that you will get quality care if you or a family member is sick or has an emergency health issue.