Whether you’re selecting a health insurance plan through healthcare.gov, independently, or through your employer, the options can be daunting. Higher premiums usually mean lower annual deductibles, and the decision will often come down to your medical history, age, monthly budget, and current health needs. You’ll also want to consider whether you’re seeking insurance to mostly just cover emergencies or if you’d like something a little more extensive than that. But even then, it’s not always so simple. How can you know which plan makes the most sense for you? The following are some tips that can help you decide:
It may be tempting to just select the first plan that sounds good, but compare several different plans before making a final decision. Do not hesitate to call up the insurance companies and ask specific questions about coverage and your share of medical costs.
Identify the necessities
It’s impossible to predict sudden illnesses or injuries, but you may be able to anticipate certain medical needs. For instance, maternity coverage is an obvious necessity if you’re trying to conceive, and you can eliminate the policies that don’t offer it.
Factor in your dependents
Consider your spouse and children when selecting an insurance plan if they don’t already have insurance on their own. It might be cheaper to include everyone on the same plan, or it might make sense to keep things separate.
Understand your share of the costs
Policies must state how much your copays would be for different types of visits; these are flat fees you pay out-of-pocket. When you’re ill, even small copays can add up. And costly treatment could leave you obliged to pay hundreds, or even thousands, in coinsurance.
Check the network
If you already have a primary care doctor or specialist that you want to continue seeing, make sure the plan you’re considering includes that doctor as an in-network physician. Otherwise, you’ll want to continue shopping around if you don’t intend on changing doctors.
Make sure your medications are covered
If there are any prescription drugs that you take on a regular basis, you’ll want to make sure that the plan you select will cover them, especially if they are costly.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.