The comfort and security of knowing you can see a doctor whenever the flu strikes or when you've broken your leg on the ski slopes is a privilege that many take for granted. Whether you have to select health insurance through your job or need to choose an independent company, there are plenty of factors that can affect your final decision. Weighing the pros and cons of various options is the best way to choose the health insurance that will accommodate your needs as an individual or family. Below are a few points to consider as you search for the best health insurance plan for you:
Know Your Choices
There are many different kinds of health insurance plans offered to the public. Knowing the various options you may qualify for will help satisfy your needs in the future. There are five type of health plans to consider: traditional indemnity, health maintenance organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Point of Service Plan (POS), and Health Savings Account (HSA). You should familiarize yourself with each option.
Know the Advantages and Disadvantages
Out of the five main types of health insurance plans, each one contains their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, with a traditional indemnity plan, individuals seeking complete freedom in the medical providers they can select should choose this option. But freedom comes with a price; the insurance plans produce higher rates and costs. This means individuals will face few restrictions, but also have to cope with no financial incentives that lessen patient financial responsibility.
Coverage and Benefits
An important factor to consider when choosing a health insurance plan includes the type of benefits offered and whether or not they will accommodate your needs. Some of the coverage capabilities to ask about include maternity, prescription, childcare, immunizations, emergency visits, and annual checkups.
Seeking information on the premium or employee contribution associated with a particular health insurance plan is important to make an effective decision. The cost you are responsible for will depend on the type of plan you choose; the deductible, coinsurance and co-payment; lifetime maximums, and the limitation of plan benefit coverage.
Are You Considered "Hard to Insure?"
If you are labeled as a "hard to insure" case, you may not find the most cost-efficient or accommodating health coverage. A few things to keep in mind include: avoiding lifetime maximums of less than $500,000, straying from plans that only offer hospital and surgical benefits, seeking out an HMO plan that tend to be the least expensive, and researching health insurance coverage provided by professional organizations, school alumni programs or unions.