Health insurance is undoubtedly one of the most important insurances to have. You usually have a limited amount of time to choose the best health insurance plan for your family, but rushing and choosing the wrong coverage can be a costly mistake. Consider the following tips before getting health insurance, whether it’s from an employer, a state or federal marketplace, or both.
- Choose the right supplier
Health insurance through an employer is a good choice because they will pay between 70% and 90% of your premiums. Ask your company manager or human resources department if they can offer you any health insurance plans.
Alternatively, you can use Healthcare.gov to find healthcare on your own. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it possible for self-employed individuals to participate in a government health plan.
If you are 65 or older or have certain disabilities, you may want to consider enrolling in Medicare. It is a federally sponsored program and most of your medical expenses are covered.
- Understand your needs
One question you need to ask yourself before you buy insurance is, do you want health insurance in case of emergency events or for ongoing care. If you are fairly healthy, any plan can work.
However, suppose you, your spouse, or a dependent family member have some ongoing medical needs. In that case, you need to choose the appropriate health insurance policy considering plans with in-network and out-of-network providers.
You also need to compare the available health insurance plans. A health maintenance organization (HMO), for example, often has a strict provider network. Costs are not covered if you see a doctor outside the network. In contrast, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) will give you a wider range of healthcare providers. Although it may be slightly more expensive to see a provider through a PPO than an out-of-network provider, they will still pay a portion of the cost.
- Take advantage of Health Plan Networks
Your health insurance “network”; refers to the medical providers and facilities your health plan has contracted to provide your care. What makes the network important? Because insurance companies negotiate lower rates with in-network doctors, costs are lower when you visit an in-network doctor. Out-of-network doctors don’t have set fees, so you’re usually responsible for a larger bill when you visit them.
- Check the scope of services
Review the list of benefits to see which plans offer a wider range of services. While some have superior emergency coverage, others may better cover services such as physical therapy, reproductive treatments, and mental health care. You could be missing out on a plan that is much more suitable for you and your family if you skip this short but crucial step.
- Beware of fraudsters
Unfortunately, fraud has become a common occurrence in everyday life. You’re bound to run into some cons even when shopping for more mundane things like insurance. When shopping for health insurance, it’s best to do your homework before choosing a company. Some plans may sound appealing because of their lower prices, but they may be “short-term” plans that don’t cover essentials like prescription drugs or annual checkups.
Buying health insurance on your own doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re a first-time buyer, know that you have several options. Contact our insurance professionals today at Abbate Insurance Associates Inc. to find the best health insurance for your specific needs.