Choosing the right health insurance coverage is a big decision. Once you commit to a plan, you’re stuck with it for the next year. Choosing the wrong one can be an expensive mistake.
To choose the best health insurance coverage, you need to slow down and be methodical.
Here are some helpful tips for making this challenging choice:
Know the Enrolment Period
First, you need to know the enrolment period during which you can sign up for an insurance plan. This period may vary based on a number of factors.
For example, private health insurance through an employer may have a different enrolment period than a medicare plan. The Medicare enrolment period for Part A and Part B coverage includes the seven months surrounding the person’s 65th birthday— three months before, the month of, and the three months following. However, there are also special enrolment periods and general enrolment periods.
Before diving into your insurance selection, be sure that you know when and where to enroll. Give yourself plenty of time to weigh the options and find the best plan for you.
Compare All the Costs
There are many different costs associated with health insurance. When looking at a plan, it’s essential to consider all of them.
First, look at the monthly premiums and the deductible. Generally speaking, having a higher deductible will give you lower monthly premiums and vice versa. Evaluate the total costs of each over the year.
You also need to evaluate copayments and coinsurance when looking for the right coverage. These are your out-of-pocket costs.
For people who only need basic coverage and don’t have any conditions that require special attention, having a high deductible is a great way to save money. Alternatively, if you plan to have a baby or have someone in the family with declining health, getting through the deductible as fast as possible can save you thousands.
Consider Coverage Needs
You may find that your basic insurance options don’t provide sufficient coverage for your specialized needs. For example, many families will get a supplementary vision or dental coverage to pay for glasses and braces.
Many people on Medicare also find Part A and Part B coverage lacking for their needs, leading them to look at other options. With so many extra health concerns in light of the pandemic, basic Medicare customers are seeking the best possible medicare supplement plans 2020 has to offer.
If you have any expensive medications that aren’t covered by your primary plan or know your child is due for braces, looking at extra coverage is often worth the investment. When assessing supplementary coverage, be sure to calculate the costs and determine if you’re getting enough value for the additional expense.
Evaluate Your Network
When evaluating health insurance coverage, it’s essential to look at which medical centers and healthcare professionals are covered in your network. You might find that the more affordable plan means traveling to doctors a few hours away; only you can determine if that’s worth the savings.
If you have a preferred family doctor or specialist that you feel comfortable with, you may decide to look for a plan within their network. Otherwise, you’ll need to calculate the out-of-pocket costs of seeing that physician without coverage. Don’t hesitate to ask your preferred doctor what health insurance plans they accept before deciding.
Network size also plays a vital role in this aspect of insurance selection. A larger network often means more coverage options. Using a more extensive network can help if you live in a small town if you need more options, don’t have a preferred physician, or require specialized treatment.
Take some time to weigh all the options and determine which health insurance coverage is right for your lifestyle and individual needs.