Everyday tasks can become quite challenging with age. It can reach a point when one might consider caregiving options as family care might not be a suitable option. In this case, there are financial aspects that need to be dealt with. This is a scenario one must think about when considering which type of health insurance to have.
The landscape of health insurance is quite tricky and difficult to navigate. If you want to choose the best plan for your family, here are some tips that will come in handy:
Find Your Marketplace
Most individuals get health insurance through their employers. You will not need government insurance exchanges if you are one of them. In essence, your work acts as your marketplace. If your workplace insurance cover is not enough, look for alternative plans at the exchanges.
However, marketplace plans cost much more while work insurance is the least expensive option for you. If your job does not come with health insurance benefits, shop on the Affordable Care Act website of your state. If you want, you can buy health insurance directly from an insurer or through private exchanges.
Compare Types of Health Insurance
While shopping for health plans, you will come across the following types: EPOs, PPOs, HMOs, and POS. The type of insurance you select will determine the type of doctors you can see as well as your out-of-pocket costs. You also need to look at the summary of benefits when shopping for health insurance. If you are shopping through your employer, make sure you ask for the summary of benefits.
Compare Health Plan Networks
When you go to an in-network doctor, the costs are lower because health insurance companies give lower rates for in-network healthcare providers. However, when you go out-of-network, it will cost you more. If you want to keep seeing your preferred doctor, ensure he or she is in the provider directory of that plan you are considering.
Also, check if your doctor accepts a certain health plan. If you do not have a preferred doctor, opt for a plan with a large network to give you more choices. People who live in rural communities should opt for larger networks, as they will be more likely to find local doctors who accept their plans. Avoid plans that do not have local in-network doctors so that you don’t have to pay for most of your doctor visits out-of-pocket.
Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs
Considering how the costs will be shared is as important as the network size. The summary of benefits of any plan should state how much you would be paying out of pocket clearly. Many state marketplaces as well as the federal marketplace share snapshots of this information.
Meaning you should know a few health insurance vocabularies. The amount of money you spend out of pocket annually is limited. Bear in mind that the lower the premiums you pay, the higher your out-of-pocket costs will be. A plan with higher premiums is better if:
– You need emergency care frequently
– You see a doctor frequently
– You have a surgery scheduled in future
– You are expecting a child or have small children
– You have been recently diagnosed with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Compare the Benefits
By this point, your options should be narrowed down. To narrow them down even further, you need to look at the summary of benefits of each plan to see which one offers a wider scope of services. Some might have better emergency coverage while others will have physical therapy coverage.
Also ask questions based on your current health situation, including:
– Which maternity services are provided?
– Which documents will I need?
– Which drugs do they cover under this plan?
If you are looking for all-inclusive plans such as Obamacare plans, you should shop carefully.
Updated: October 28, 2017