When you’re looking to get the best health insurance plan, there are many things you have to consider. You need to think about deductibles, co-pays, and premiums, among other things, in order to figure out what would be best for your needs as well as your budget. In this comprehensive guide, we go over all the options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about which plan would be best suited to your individual needs and goals.
Knowing what is covered
As we’ve learned, health insurance plans vary greatly in coverage. For most plans, co-pays, and deductibles are required before health care costs are covered by your plan. Your deductible is an annual out-of-pocket expense you must pay before your plan begins to cover any medical expenses. Some plans have high deductibles (over $1,000) while others have lower ones ($100 or less). Co-pays typically take effect once you’ve reached your deductible.
Why health insurance is important
Whether you’re twenty-two or sixty-two, health insurance is a must. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier than ever to enroll in health insurance, so there’s no excuse to let your coverage lapse. If you’re a young adult planning to live and work outside of your parents’ home or not covered by your partner’s plan through his or her employer, take some time to find out what options are available when it comes to purchasing individual health insurance.
How to choose the right plan
Find yourself wondering which health insurance plan is best for you? If so, there are a few factors you need to consider. To help you navigate these concerns with ease, we’ve put together an ultimate guide on how to find, research and choose a new health plan. Here’s what you need to know
How much should you spend on health insurance?
Many Americans can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket when they get sick. In fact, healthcare spending accounts for roughly 18% of gross domestic product in the U.S., according to a May report from Moody’s Analytics.
Government health insurance options
If you don’t have access to affordable health insurance, your first option should be one of these government programs. Programs such as Medicaid and Medicare help provide basic medical care for low-income people and those who are elderly or disabled.
Medical procedures that are often excluded from plans
This is a perfect example of an item you may want to ask your insurance provider about, even if it’s not currently excluded. If they don’t know, they may be willing to add it in at your request. Also, talk with your health care provider to see if any of these items can be done as a low-cost or free service. Here are some questions to ask: How long will I have to wait for my procedure?
Doctors and hospitals who accept insurance plans
Knowing which hospitals and doctors accept your insurance is essential to finding affordable healthcare. If you’re looking for a new health plan, it’s important to know which providers are covered under each. Check out our guide to see if your current providers are in-network with any new plans. If not, compare provider networks online until you find one that works well with your network.
Discount health clinics vs. private practitioners
Before shopping around, you have to figure out what your main goal is: Is it to save money? Or do you prefer private care? If cost is your biggest factor, a discount health clinic is worth looking into. Just note that these places won’t always be able to offer services like mental health counseling or lab tests. On another note, private practitioners may be more expensive than clinics (sometimes by thousands of dollars), but most offer more comprehensive care and/or longer hours of operation.