Shopping For Heath Insurance
What to Consider When Shopping for a Health Insurance Plan
There are many factors to consider when shopping for a health insurance plan. One of those, of course, is cost. The cost of a plan will be one of the first things and one of the most important criteria for a plan for many people; but the cost of your plan should not be the only factor that you consider. A lower cost often means less coverage in other areas, including services that are not covered, a higher deductible, and a higher co-pay percentage. All of these areas need to be taken into consideration when shopping for a health insurance plan.
Cost should be taken into consideration with all of the below factors: deductible, co-pay, and covered services. Of course, you still must maintain a certain monthly budget, so you will want to make sure that you can get the lowest cost that you can, while still getting the services you need. For example, if you are a single male, you may not want to pay for a plan that covers the cost of a pregnancy, since those plans will be higher.
The deductible is going to be an important area to look at because it is the amount of money that you will have to pay up-front for your medical expenses. Your insurance coverage will not kick in until after your deductible requirement has been satisfied. It is crucial that you choose a reasonable deductible amount, instead of a ridiculously high amount just so you can get a lower monthly premium. What good will your plan be to you, if you can’t even get past the deductible? So, only choose a plan with a $5,000 deductible if you can afford to pay $5,000 of your medical expenses out-of-pocket; otherwise choose a smaller amount.
The co-pay required on a plan is also going to be a very important area to look at. A co-pay is the portion of your medical expenses that will be paid by you or a secondary insurance plan that you may have. So, if your co-pay is 20% and you get a medical bill for $200, you will be responsible for paying $40 and your health insurance plan will pay the rest (assuming that you have met your deductible requirement).Co-pays usually range from 0% (you pay nothing) to 50% (you pay half).
This is a very important area to consider because if a service is not covered, your health insurance will pay 0% of the cost and you will be stuck with the entire charge for that procedure. It also will not count against your deductible, since your deductible is for covered services only. The lower the cost of your plan, the least amount of services it likely covers. All of these are important factors to take into consideration when shopping for a health insurance plan. You need to find one that works best for you, your family, your budget, and your lifestyle. It is also imperative that you don’t underestimate your health insurance needs, just to get a lower premium, especially if you can afford a higher one.