A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Health Insurance Plan
Being healthy is a privilege that we sometimes take for granted. We tend to ignore important investments such as health insurance, until we get sick. The cost of medication is very high and taking an insurance policy during an emergency is equally expensive. Applying for a health plan should be done early to avoid a last-minute rush.
With so many insurance companies claiming to offer the best deal, you may have difficulties separating the wheat from the chaff. But understanding the critical issues to consider in a health policy can help you choose a plan that suits your needs and favors your pocket.
Here is our step by step guide to help you select the perfect health insurance plan.
Consider your employer‘s health plan
Before you even start considering the various health insurance plan options in the market, evaluate the one offered by your employer. It might not come with many ‘goodies’ as the others being advertised, but it will definitely be cheaper.
In most cases, your employer will pay part of your insurance premium, making the plan more affordable. Besides, your employer is better positioned to bargain with the insurer, which may see you have lower premiums.
Shop around for the available insurance plans
There are several health plans available in the market. We advise you to better understand each one of them and what they offer before using a comparison site like Best Insurance Companies to find out more about their specific details.
The most common ones are:
- PPO (Preferred provider Organization) – This one doesn’t require a referral for specialist consultation. It covers both in and out of network services.
- EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) – You don’t need a referral to see a specialist. EPO only provides in-network coverage except for emergency services.
- HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) – HMO requires a referral to see a specialist. It also assigns providers for every policyholder.
- HSA (Health Savings Account) – For HAS, expenses are deducted from a policyholder’s health savings account.
Each plan has its advantages and limitations. Ensure you evaluate each according to your need. You can also choose to consult seasoned policyholders to help you understand the best plan for you.
Read More: How To Shop The Best Health Insurance
Be careful of out of pocket expenses
When selecting a health plan, it’s easy to get carried away by cheap policies that seem pocket friendly. However, such policies come with many out of pocket expenses that will eventually increase the total cost.
Study the health care plan in detail to understand when and how the insurance will come in when a medical emergency arises. Feel free to engage the insurance company to know how beneficial a plan is in line with your needs. You would rather pay higher premiums and get most of the medical costs paid for than have a cheap plan, which covers only a fraction of your medical bills.
Know your needs
When choosing a medical policy, it eventually comes down to your needs. For instance, when selecting a family policy, you will require a different plan from someone who needs an individual cover. Similarly, people with underlying medical conditions have to find a specific plan that covers their special treatment.
Take time to consider all your needs to ensure your preferred policy ticks all the right boxes. Bear in mind each plan has a targeted client base, and rates depend on the client’s needs. For example, when looking for a combined family policy involving parents, the rates will be high as the age factor will be considered. Hence, you are better off getting two policies- one for your immediate family members and a unique plan for your parents.
Take note of added benefits
After choosing a few plans that meet your needs, you now have a few policies to choose from. To pick the best one from your final bunch of policies, you’ll need to consider the deal sweeteners.
Insurance companies often have additional benefits to attract clients. The best insurance companies may offer free therapy services, ambulance services, or cancer screening. You might find yourself saving a few coins by getting some of these services for free.
Consider hiring an insurance broker
Consulting an insurance broker can end up saving you a lot. Since these companies are paid on commission, they go out of their way to get their clients’ best policies.
Therefore, a broker will most definitely advise and get you the best plan in the market. Since they understand the market better, they will also inform you every time a good policy is rolled out.
In conclusion, taking care of your health is paramount. Thus, you’ll need an insurance policy that will prove beneficial if a medical emergency arises. Since a health insurance policy isn’t cheap, it’s only right that you take your time to select one that suits your needs. The best health plan should be affordable and efficiently sort your medical needs.