Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan
One of the best ways of safeguarding your personal well-being is by having a health insurance plan. Due to the large number of companies that offer this type of insurance policy, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Here are five tips to help you find the best plan on the market today.
Check the Networks of Different Plans
If you have a select group of doctors whom you prefer, ask them which insurance networks they are part of. You can also use one of the many accredited online directories to know the networks that each plan on your list has. On the other hand, if you just relocated to a new city and you do not have a preferred doctor yet, choose a plan that has a large network of health practitioners.
Know the Maximum Premium Budget
Consider your average monthly expenses to know the amount of money that you can spend on the policy without compromising your financial capability. Low premiums often result in high out-of-pocket costs. Hence, what appears to be the cheapest plan may really be the most expensive, as you will be forced to pay for most of the services. One of the best ways of choosing the right premium is by estimating the total amount of money that you spent on health care last year, including out-of-pocket expenses and premiums. Then, choose a plan that has similar monthly deductibles, copays, and premiums. A high premium plan will save you thousands of dollars on out-of-pocket costs if you require expensive procedures or frequent medical care services.
Look for Additional Benefits
In a bid to attract more clients, insurance companies usually offer policies that have additional benefits apart from medical coverage. Based on this fact, it is wise to check the summary of benefits of each policy on your list until you find one that has your preferred scope of services. For instance, some policies provide better coverage for mental health and physical therapy care while others have more comprehensive emergency coverage.
Research Plan Structure
Once you have an estimate of your monthly premium, your next step is determining your ideal plan structure. Some of the most common plans are HMO, EPO, POS, and PPO. The plan that you select will determine which doctors you can see and your costs. More often than not, plans that have referrals, such as POS and HMO, require that you first consult a primary care physician before booking an appointment with a specialist. If you already have a network of doctors that you prefer to see, eschew plans that they do not take.
Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs
Your preferred health insurance plan should clearly indicate the services that you will be required to pay for and the amount. The sum amount includes coinsurance, co-pay, and deductible. A plan that has low out-of-pocket costs is an ideal choice if you regularly need emergency services, take expensive medications, have scheduled upcoming surgery, or were recently diagnosed with a chronic condition such as cancer or diabetes.
Finally, make sure that the health insurance company is legally accredited, reputable, and reliable to cushion yourself from any inconveniences.