Health insurance can be confusing, to say the least.
However, when you break it down into the basics and focus on the actual value you’re getting from your insurance plan, choosing and maintaining good health insurance becomes much easier.
Here are some tips on what is good health insurance and how to select the right plan for you and your family. You’ll be glad you did!
Understand your coverage
First, you’ll want to look at your existing coverage. Understand what you’re paying for and what kind of out-of-pocket expenses you could face in a crisis.
You can then compare those numbers with a new plan to see if it’s worth it to make a change.
Many consumers opt for short-term plans because they are significantly cheaper than major medical policies but also have very high deductibles.
This makes them great for covering unexpected healthcare costs like major accidents or serious illnesses but aren’t meant to be an every day replacement for major medical coverage.
Just remember that when considering these plans: The lower cost comes with high deductibles so if something does happen, there might not be enough coverage available to help offset some of your medical costs.
Start the search early
You don’t want to rush your search for healthcare coverage and make a bad decision.
Take your time, find out what’s available, and make sure you get all of your questions answered before you buy anything.
Start looking into options early so that when it comes time to enroll you can make an informed decision without feeling rushed or pressured.
It also helps to have some idea of what questions you want answered before talking with anyone.
These 5 questions will help: What are my options for purchasing medical insurance? Where do I go to purchase medical insurance? Where can I get information about Medicare? How do I select a medical plan that meets my needs and budget while covering all of my health care costs?
Don’t be afraid to shop around
Nowadays, shopping around is a lot easier than it used to be. You can shop for healthcare plans and rates across state lines.
With so many options available, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget.
Also keep in mind that as you’re shopping for an individual plan, your out-of-pocket costs may be different than what you were expecting—some deductibles are higher than others and some copays might be a little more expensive or vice versa—but if you can get over yourself and look past these small differences, you should be able to find a plan that works within your budget.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else you can think of who’s had experience with healthcare—good or bad.
For example, you could ask them if they know any resources that can answer your questions; did their medical bills get paid correctly; or are there any services they wished they had access to.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when choosing good health insurance—it’s one thing for an insurer to have great benefits, but it’s another for that benefit to be actually useful in real life.
It all comes down to what matters most to you (price? quality of care?
One of the worst decisions you can make when it comes to your health care is picking a policy based on price.
Your premiums only amount to one-third of your overall plan, while two-thirds go toward covering your actual medical costs and getting reimbursed by insurers.
Plus, insurers use rates to screen potential customers, so those with lower premiums may not always be providing their customers with great coverage.
If you choose a policy based off cost alone, and that insurer goes out of business or raises its rates significantly later on, you could have a hard time finding another plan that will cover your medical expenses as well as offer sufficient reimbursement for providers and hospitals.
Your health insurance plan is only as good as your ability to pay for it.
In order to make sure you’re able to pay for your health care when you need it, you’ll need to have a plan in place.
You can do one of two things: either pay cash upfront and use payment plans (if necessary) or get your coverage through an employer so that your premiums are paid for by someone else, at least in part.
To make sure you know what works best for you, take time to explore all of your options and think about how much money you want to spend on healthcare each month. Ultimately, it’s up to you—and based on your income, lifestyle and needs—to determine what type of coverage makes sense for you.
Know how you will pay for it
Before you buy any health plan, make sure you have a clear idea of how you’ll pay for it.
You can use HealthCare.gov to find out your options and to estimate your costs.
The Marketplace Calculator will help you answer questions like: How much will my monthly payments be? What type of plan am I eligible for? Can I qualify for financial help paying for coverage on a marketplace plan? These questions—and more—can all be answered in minutes by using HealthCare.gov’s online tools.
But first, find out what your current options are in terms of: choosing among plans; getting financial help; and finding information about enrolling in coverage that takes effect January 1, 2017.
What is health insurance
Health insurance is a form of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses incurred by an individual or group.
It can be purchased on an individual basis or obtained through a group plan sponsored by an employer.
Benefits provided include ambulatory, emergency, surgery, prenatal care, childbirth delivery and other medical expenses; treatments such as physical therapy are also covered at times.
The insured are either reimbursed for expenses or receive a tax reduction that makes those expenses more affordable.
Compare health insurance plans
The first thing to do when you’re looking for health insurance is figure out your needs and wants, says Mike Trupiano, senior communications specialist at eHealth.
It’s important to know what care you want and need, because if it isn’t covered by your plan or isn’t available in your area, then you won’t be able to take advantage of it.
The second thing is knowing what you can afford. Do you want a high deductible with low monthly premiums or lower deductibles with higher monthly premiums? Also consider whether your employer provides coverage for dependent children—that might be something that should play into which type of policy is best for you.
7 types of health insurance plans
There are seven major types of medical plans in Canada, with options to suit everyone’s needs and lifestyles.
Each province offers a standard provincial plan that provides similar coverage throughout each region.
So when you travel across Canada, you are protected by provincial health care no matter where you go, as long as you have your card and your personal identification number (PIN).
Provincial plans will take care of some or all of your hospital room and board charges while you’re staying overnight as an inpatient.
They pay for many physician services and some preventive services such as immunizations and routine screening tests like mammograms or Pap smears.