When it is time for you to select a health insurance plan for your family, time may be limited. While this is true, if you choose the wrong one, it can be an expensive mistake. The good news is, there are some tips you can use to find the best health insurance plans, regardless of what your budget or needs are.
Keep reading to learn what those tips are.
Select the Right Health Plan Marketplace
Most people receive health insurance through their employers. If you are one of these people, you don’t have to use the marketplaces.
If you have an employer that offers health insurance but want to look for another plan, you can do this. But the plans you find in the marketplace are probably going to cost much more. That’s because most employers pay for a portion of the premiums because the plans have lower premiums overall.
If you have a job that doesn’t offer health insurance, consider shopping on your state’s public marketplace or the federal marketplace to locate the most affordable premiums. You can begin your search by visiting HealthCare.gov and putting in your zip code. This will then give you your state’s exchange (if one exists). If not, you will use the federal marketplace.
You also have the option to buy your health insurance through a private exchange or direct through an insurer. If you decide to go this route, you won’t be able to get the premium tax credits, which are discounts based on your income.
Get to Know the Health Insurance Plan Options
When it comes to health insurance plan types, it may seem like a can of alphabet soup as you encounter POS, EOPs, HMOs, and PPOs. The one you choose will impact your out-of-pocket costs and what doctors you can visit.
When you are comparing these plans, look for a summary of the benefits. An online marketplace will usually offer you a link to the summary and show the actual cost close to the title of the plan. The provider directory will list the clinics and doctors that participate in the plan’s network. If you go through an employer, you can ask the benefits administrator at your workplace for a summary of these benefits.
When you start to compare the plans, think about the medical needs of your family carefully. Consider the type and amount of treatments you have received before. While there’s no way to predict all medical expenses, you need to be aware of the trends to help ensure you make an informed decision.
If you opt for a POS or HMO plan, which needs referrals, you will have to see a primary care physician before you schedule any procedures or visiting any specialist. Due to this requirement, you may want some of the other plans. However, because of the restrictions, an HMO will be the most affordable health plan overall.
An HMO or POS plan may be best if you don’t mind a primary doctor that chooses a specialist for you. A benefit of this is that there’s not as much work to do on your end because your doctor’s staff will coordinate the visits and handle your medical records. If you opt for a POS plan and go out of the network, get the referral from your doctor ahead of time so you can avoid excessive out-of-pocket costs.
Compare Health Plan Networks
When you choose an in-network doctor, your costs will be lower because insurance companies will contract a lower rate by using an in-network provider. If you go out of that network, there are no agreed-upon rates with those doctors, which means you have to pay more.
If you have a doctor you prefer and you want to continue seeing them, be sure they are included in the provider directories for the health insurance plan you are considering. You can also ask your doctors if they accept that health plan.
If you don’t have a doctor you prefer, choose a plan with a large network. This gives you more options. Also, a large network is important if you live in a rural company as you are going to be more likely to find a doctor who accepts your plan.
Choosing the Right Health Insurance Coverage
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it is time to choose health insurance. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to choose the plan that best suits your needs.
Also Read- Why do I need Health Insurance? [Best Guide]