In this day and time, not having health insurance might one day lead to the decimation of lifetime savings. Many people receive health insurance through their employer, therefore they usually have just a few choices between plans, such as an HMO or PPO. Others, like those who are self-employed, might need to purchase a health plan on their own, so they will have to do some research before selecting a plan.
If you are among those who have to decide which health insurance is the best for your circumstances, consider the following:
1) Your current health care needs and medical expenses
2) Medical needs and expenses of your family members
3) Medical services that are most important to you
When looking at health plans, compare benefits, monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays, coverage for physicals and immunizations, preventive care, etc. Depending on your family’s present and long-term needs, you might want to explore coverage for infertility, mental health services, or long-term care.
But don’t stop there. Learn how the plans you consider work:
1) Is your current health care provider in the network?
2) How much does it cost to see somebody out-of-network?
3) Are referrals needed to see a specialist?
4) What is the referral process?
5) How easy is it to get a referral?
6) What hospitals are in the network?
7) Are benefits limited to pre-existing conditions?
Decide what’s important to you. Do you want to be able to see the health care provider of your choice? Are you concerned with convenience of the clinic’s location, covered benefits, or meeting a monthly budget? While deciding which factors are essential to you, consider checking out the report card for America’s best health plans, as well as the recognized physician directory available online at: http://www.ncqa.org/tabid/60/Default.aspx