For most of us, at some point in our lives we will need medical attention. Whether it’s something simple like regular preventive care check-ups or more complex care for things like maternity or chronic conditions, the best way to get care is by purchasing health insurance. There are many different options for choosing a health care plan, so you need to know how to determine which plan is right for you.
One of the most popular ways to get insurance is through an employer’s health plan. Depending on where you work and what job you have, your employer may offer one or more options to meet your health care needs. Sometimes they will have a plan available and sometimes they will have multiple plans and tiers to choose from. Talk to your Human Resources department for more information on copays, deductions, and out-of-pocket costs for each option to determine which option is best for your situation.
If you are shopping for health insurance on your own, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Discounts. This is the out-of-pocket amount you must pay for your health care before you start with insurance. It can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each year; a higher discount generally means a lower monthly premium and vice versa. If you are generally healthy and do not receive medical care often, a higher discount can save you money on your monthly insurance premiums. If you receive regular medical care or have a chronic condition, it may be better for you to get a lower discount and higher monthly payments.
- Copays and coinsurance. Copays are the amount you will pay each time you visit a doctor or get a prescription. Coinsurance is usually a percentage that you pay out of pocket for your care after meeting your deductible each year. Either way, if you choose a plan with less than your out-of-pocket amount, your monthly premiums will likely cost more.
- In-network and out-of-network providers. Some plans have restrictions on the doctors and facilities covered. Make sure you choose a plan that has the right doctors and facilities that you can access.
- Monthly fees. When buying a plan, the monthly cost will be a factor. Talk to your insurance agent about the options you can adjust in each plan to make monthly payments affordable.
With this information, you can choose the best health insurance that best meets your and your family’s health care needs. Having health insurance can give you the peace of mind that you are protected in case something happens.