Regardless of whether your employer provides it or you purchase it on your own, choosing the right health insurance policy is no easy task. There are so many options available – with different prices, benefits, co-pays, and deductibles – that choosing the best one seems nearly impossible. Read the tips below and keep them in mind to help you choose the best health insurance policy for you and your family.
- Consider Your Health Issues Carefully
Do you or a family member have an on-going health issue? If so, you’ll want to consider that as you shop for insurance. To keep costs lower, choose a plan with a lower deductible and co-pays. Although you’ll pay a higher premium, you’ll likely spend less out of pocket.
Also, think about things like dental and vision coverage. If you wear glasses or have bad teeth, this kind of coverage is important too. Look for a plan with the best dental cover and vision insurance you can afford.
- Check the Provider List for Your Doctor
If you have a family doctor and specialists you prefer, be sure to check the provider list of the policy you want to purchase to see if their names appear. Since most insurance plans pay more if you see a doctor on their provider list, you should aim to choose a policy that covers the doctors, clinics, and hospitals you prefer.
- Read the List of Benefits Carefully
The details differ slightly from policy to policy, so you need to read through the list of benefits to be sure the services you need are included and at what percentage. Whether it’s for a small business, a family, or an individual, health insurance plans must cover hospitalization, lab tests, maternity and newborn care, emergency services, pediatric services, prescriptions, mental health, drug rehab services, preventive services, outpatient care, and rehabilitation services. However, the degree to which they’re covered may vary from policy to policy.
- Look at the Formulary
The formulary is a list of medications the insurance company covers and what their co-pays are. If you take any prescriptions at all, check that they are on the list or you could end up paying in full for your medications out of your own pocket.
Also, check to see if the policy you’re considering includes a mail-in ordering option for prescriptions. Buying your prescriptions this way could save you a lot of money over buying them at the pharmacy.
- Ask Questions
If you aren’t finding the answers you need on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to the insurance provider itself or your HR personnel for clarification. There are no stupid questions when it comes to selecting health insurance, so get the answers you need before choosing a policy. For example:
- What doctors, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies participate in this plan?
- How much is covered if I go out of the network?
- Am I still covered when I travel?
- What are my monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs?
- What type of things are covered and what aren’t?
- How are disputes over billing or services handled?
Remember, this is your health and your money we’re talking about here, so take your time learning about and comparing policies to make sure you get the one that will protect you and your family best.
Follow the tips above as you shop for a health insurance policy. Even if your employer provides health insurance, these tips will help you decide which available policy is best for you and your family’s needs.