Top Three Tips When Health Insurance Shopping

Shopping for health insurance can be a daunting task, and many people leave at the end of their to-do list. So to help move a low priority to number one on your list, here are three tips we have when shopping for any type of health insurance plan:1. How important is it for your and your family to stay with your current clinic or physician?Probably one of the most important questions to refer to when choosing a health insurance plan is whether you’re happy with your current clinic and physician’s services. If you are – find out what network they belong to and make sure that the health insurance providers you are comparing have coverage in your preferred doctor or clinic’s network. If you are looking at high deductible or short term medical insurance plan options with up-front out-of-pocket expenses, you should be able to remain with your current provider. Can’t find the network your local clinic participates in? When in doubt, contact your healthcare provider.2. How much out-of-pocket expense can you afford? What will your total cost be each year? Are there deductibles? Are there copays? Is there coinsurance?These are important questions to have answered in order to make sure you understand the total cost you may have to pay for services rendered. Think about the past year and you and your family’s health care needs. How often did you see a doctor? What did you see them for? Did you see any specialists?Consider the type of deductible you can afford. Your deductible is the amount of money you pay each year for medical services before the health insurance company begins to pay the remainder of your insurance claims. Your copays – payment to your doctor each time you visit – goes toward your annual deductible. Once you’ve met your deductible, you’ll continue to pay a percentage of each bill, known as coinsurance, until you meet your annual out-of-pocket maximum. This is why it’s important to consider how much are you willing and able to afford for out-of-pocket expenses each year.You may ask yourself if it’s worth it to have a higher deductible in return for lower copayment costs. Consider high deductible health plans if you are looking for lower monthly costs on your health insurance. Coupled with a health savings account (HSA), it can provide affordable coverage while offering a pre-tax dollar savings account.3. Does the plan cover prescription drugs and other services? What additional services does the policy cover? Are there limits on the number of days the insurance company will pay for these services?Being a wise consumer is important. You want to choose a health insurance plan that will fit you and your family’s physical and financial needs. Make a list of things that are important to your healthcare needs such as immunizations, surgery, prescription drugs, maternity and well-baby programs. Compare each plan with what they offer – the plan that covers most of your needs at an affordable rate might just be the plan for you.