Not all health insurance companies are exactly the same. When shopping around for health insurance, there are important things to consider. From deductibles to prescription coverage and networks, you’ll thank yourself if you do your homework and ask important questions before enrolling in health coverage. You’ll want to find a policy that fits best for you.
If you are in the market for new insurance or a coverage change or even just waiting for the next open enrollment period, read on for tips on what to look for.
Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Costs
One of the top things you’ll want to look for in great health insurance coverage is the overall out of pocket costs you could incur. Even someone who has been healthy their entire life will want a health insurance plan they can trust if things go wrong. From regular checkups to emergency visits at clinics and the emergency room, private insurance or lack of it will play a big part in the health care you ultimately receive.
Most insurance policies have expenses you must reach for regular visits as well as prescription medications. One of the first things you’ll want to look at is what those minimum cap levels are and what you believe you can cover in out-of-pocket costs should you face an emergency or have an accident. Using your own health history to determine the chances of reaching the deductible or even your overall needs will be an important first step in finding a policy that’s best for you.
Questions to ask health insurance agents or even customer service providers for various plans when it comes to coverage include the following:
- What is the most I would have to pay out in a year in the event that something horrible happens?
- Is there a maximum number on coverage?
- Is anything covered or cost-shared before I meet my deductible minimums?
- If I were to pay more than a month, how would it impact my deductible? What if I were to pay less?
- What are deductibles like with comparable health plans?
Specialists and Specialty Items
Whether signing up in the open marketplace or working through an insurance agent, you’ll want to know your company’s policies when it comes to specialists and special devices. For someone who has a hearing problem, for example, they’d want to know if regular visits to the hearing health clinic are covered. What about hearing aids, trips to the audiologist, and more hearing healthcare options? These are things to find out before making final decisions about your health insurance.
Additional Benefits and Perks
Some insurance companies offer over-the-counter drug wallets that work like free coupons for ordinary drugs. Others include membership services in order to promote overall wellness in customers. Your insurance may offer gym memberships or devices like Fitbits to help improve your overall health. Smoking cessation and other prevention or support programs are also common perks.
When shopping for insurance, you’ll want to look at health benefit plans that work best with your lifestyle. Because most companies will have coverage options, it will be important to take the time to weigh the pros and cons of more basic plans and those with perks. If medication is key for you, the prescription drug plan might matter more than a free gym membership. On the other side, if you don’t take medication, you could save bundles on that membership you now pay for on your own.
In the end, no two plans or policies are exactly alike in how they’re used. Making a list of your priorities and things you need like additional coverage for dental or vision will be important to finding the right plan for you. Take your time to compare plans and policies and be sure your regular doctors are covered in networks and you’ll be well on your way to both peace of mind and better health.