Five Tips for Selecting the Best Health Insurance Policy for You
Shopping for health insurance is a daunting task. You must figure out which options will work best for you and your family, and you need to also consider what is best for your finances. Additionally, you only have a few weeks out of the year to make health insurance decisions. To help make the process of choosing health insurance easier, you must implement the five steps outlined below.
Choose the Health Insurance Plan That Will Meet Your Needs
When you are shopping for health insurance, you want to choose the plan that best meets your needs. If you are healthy and only purchasing health insurance for yourself, you may only choose a bare-bones health insurance plan. If you have ongoing health issues or are responsible for dependents who do, then you want to choose a health insurance plan that provides more comprehensive coverage.
If you or your dependents have rare disorders, then it is wise to choose a health plan that will not require referrals and will allow visits to doctors out of network. Those with rare disorders often must travel long distances for care as only a small number of doctors understand rare disorders and are willing to take on patients with complicated medical histories. Also, if you or your dependents have a particular doctor you want to continue working with, then you want to make sure the insurance plan that you choose is accepted by this doctor before you make the purchase.
Check Your Budget and Consider Your Overall Financial Situation
In addition to making sure the health insurance plan meets your needs or the needs of your dependents if you have any, you must figure out how much you are willing to spend on health insurance as well as how much you can spend on medical bills before they break your wallet. If you or your dependents are healthy, you can get away with spending less on monthly premiums, and you can purchase a plan with a higher deductible.
If you or your dependents contend with ongoing health problems, you will be spending more on monthly premiums as comprehensive health coverage is not cheap. If you or anyone in your family have complicated health history as a result of rare disorders or other serious health problems, it is best to choose the most comprehensive plan with a lower deductible so you can keep medical costs low.
It is better to pay a higher monthly premium for a more comprehensive health plan that has a low deductible than spend thousands of dollars on medical bills.
Check for Special Options
If you have special circumstances, such as being considered low income, disabled or elderly, you may be able to take advantage of special health insurance options. If you are elderly, you can qualify for Medicare. Certain disabilities can also qualify you for Medicare. If you qualify for Medicare, you can shop for Medicare advantage plans.
Be advised that the Medicare advantage plans that will be available to you will depend on where you live. For example, if you reside in the state of Arizona, then you need to check for Medicare supplement plans in Arizona. Medicaid is income-based. If you are disabled and low income or if you are not disabled and your income is a certain percentage below the poverty line, you can qualify for Medicaid.
Take Note of Deadlines
When shopping for health insurance, you need to take note of deadlines. Unless you are applying for Medicare or Medicaid, you will only have a few weeks out of the year when you can shop for and apply for health coverage. It is best to begin shopping for health coverage at the beginning of the enrollment period rather than waiting until the time is running out.
The only time you can apply for health insurance outside of the yearly enrollment period is if you have experienced a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events include but are not limited to a marriage, divorce, death of a breadwinner, or a loss of health coverage.
Avoid Plans That Are Cheap and Seem Too Good to Be True
When you are shopping for health insurance, you may come across health plans with cheap pricing that seems too good to be true. These plans are typically featured in ads that will appear when you are searching for health insurance. While these cheap health insurance plans look appealing, do not be tempted to purchase them because such plans will have major gaps in their insurance coverage.
These plans will not usually cover the essentials, such as annual checkups and maternity care. Many of these plans are only short-term and will not even cover the cost of prescriptions if any are needed.
When you implement all five of these steps for choosing a health insurance policy, you are guaranteed to choose a plan that will best fit your health and financial circumstances. You will have no regrets about your purchase.