Buying health insurance as a family is like sitting around the coffee table putting a puzzle together. But instead of one possible outcome, the pieces can fit together to make an album of finished puzzle pictures. The strategy, however, is no different. The key to completing the puzzle is to find the corner pieces or flat-sided pieces so you can fill in the middle accordingly.
The corner pieces to your health insurance puzzle represent the make-up of your family. How many members are there and what is your budget? A Family Health Insurance plan can start with just two people. It is very common for a party of two or more to purchase a "Family" health insurance policy assuming their will be value-added benefits in terms of cost and coverage. In fact, the opposite is usually true. The overall benefits might be greater when you split the plan up if your family has three or less members.
Often times a family policy for two people can cost more in monthly premium than two separate policies combined. Plus, the deductibles and limits per person don't change. A family of three will be somewhat similar. A family can really start to save money on purchasing a plan together when there are four or more members because the monthly premium stays the same after three family members and the combined yearly deductible can decrease.
The flat-sided pieces to your puzzle represent the needs of each family member. Some health insurance plans are more appropriate for males and others are more appropriate for females. Plans that don't include maternity benefits can cost much less in monthly premium, often have low or NO deductibles, and can usually only be purchased by an individual. Some of these plans are even appropriate for women because they have an "escape clause" that allows the member to slide into a high-deductible maternity plan should she become pregnant.
How does your puzzle look now? It is time to fill in the middle and complete your puzzle. The final piece to this puzzle is your health insurance agent. Your puzzle's picture can change from year to year and your agent's job is to help you solve it.
By Erin Fish
EMF Insurance Agency, Inc.
EMF Insurance Blog