How to Shop for Insurance
Do you need to enroll in health plan coverage, but are unsure where to begin? To make things easier for you, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide.
1. WHAT WILL YOUR PLAN COVER?
Before you choose health coverage, take a close look at what the plan may or may not cover.
Review the copays and weigh these costs in terms of how many times you visit your doctor’s office. Is it once a year? Once a month?
Find out if your doctor or hospital is in the network of your potential plan. If you have a favorite doctor, this will be an important factor in your decision. On the other hand, if you are in between physicians, it’s likely that you will be able to find the right doctor for you and your family through your new plan’s network.
Do you take a maintenance drug (for example, anti-depressants for chronic depression or an acid reflux medicine)? If so, it’s important to take this monthly cost into consideration. Also, with a specific medication, is it important to you to take the brand-name version over the generic brand? This will also impact your costs.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR FAMILY’S OTHER HEALTHCARE NEEDS?
Are there any major medical issues coming up in your family in the near future, such as a pregnancy and birth or a knee replacement? It’s important to consider what these might be and the potential costs associated with these procedures. The number and age of children in your family will also impact the average trips to the doctors and other medical visits.
3. OTHER COSTS TO CONSIDER
With each plan, you’ll need to cover basic costs, which include:
The monthly premium that you pay to purchase your plan
The share of costs you pay out of your own pocket when you or a family member receives medical care. This could be a combination of deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
In general, if you pay a higher premium upfront, you will pay less when you get medical care. Or, you can pay a lower premium but pay more when you receive care. For a further understanding of these costs, visit Understanding Healthcare Costs