For a lot of people today, finding the right health insurance is complicated. You have to understand the confusing terms, look through plans, and consider all of your options. For most, this stress adds up.
With all of the confusion and policy changes, is health insurance even worth it today? In short, yes. If you’re young and in good health, you might think you can afford to go without health coverage. However, you never know when something could go wrong and land you in the emergency room. A single visit to the ER costs on average $1,4000. That’s a lot of cash for a single, minor visit, and that’s assuming you don’t need any serious care.
Do your health a favour and follow these tips below. They’ll ensure you choose the best health insurance plans for your needs and your budget. Your health and wellness are too important to risk.
Know Your Options
First, you need to know where to start your search. For most people, this means checking with your employer. Employer-sponsored insurance is usually the most affordable option, and you’ll have a few different coverage options to choose from. Your employer is legally obligated to provide health insurance if they have over 50 full-time employees.
However, you might not have such an employer or maybe you’re currently unemployed. If so, you still have options. Start by looking into your local health insurance marketplace. There are both federal and state marketplaces depending on where you live. On the health insurance marketplace, you can see just what’s available to you in your area.
Depending on your situation and income level, you might qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act has given many across the country access to healthcare they can afford. However, it’s not open to everyone and there are strict deadlines. If this isn’t right for you, consider purchasing an individual insurance plan from a provider directly.
Understand the Different Plans
Next, you want to understand the different plan types. Though they might all seem the same at first glance, different plans come with different types of coverage. With some, you can only see certain doctors that are considered in-network. The term in-network simply means the doctor has an agreement with your insurance to provide care at a reduced cost to you.
Here are the most common plan types:
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – A PPO doesn’t require you to stay in-network to get coverage, though it will be less expensive if you do. This is a good choice if you want more provider options.
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – With an HMO plan, you do have to stay in-network, though you’ll pay less out-of-pocket regularly.
- Point of Service (POS) – Finally, a POS plan doesn’t require you to stay in-network, but you’ll need a referral if you want to see an out-of-network doctor. This is a good middle ground if you want more provider options without the higher cost.
Which plan you choose will depend on what you’re comfortable paying as well as whether you have a current doctor. If you have a doctor you’d like to continue using, make sure they’re covered under your chosen plan.
Consider Supplemental Coverage
Finally, don’t expect your traditional health insurance to offer coverage for everything you need. That’s what supplemental health insurance is for. The most common types of supplemental coverage are dental and vision coverage. You can see why those are useful to have, so make sure you add them onto your existing plan. That’s what supplemental health insurance is for.
Other types of less common supplemental coverage include disability insurance, illness insurance, and life insurance. You might not need these depending on your health status and how much you want to pay every month. When in doubt, talk to your doctor to see what he or she recommends for your unique situation.
Protect Your Health
As you can see, insurance is invaluable. Even if you’re healthy, young, and don’t expect to need medical care, you never know what’s around the corner. Not all emergencies or illnesses can be expected. That’s why having the right health insurance overage is so essential today.
Your health is your most important asset. Make sure you have the right coverage for your wallet and your status with the tips above. There is no one-size-fits-all plan that works for everyone. Do your research to ensure you’re making a smart choice you can count on.