In 2018, more than 27.5 million people were without health insurance of any kind. This means they had to pay out of pocket for all of their medical care and treatments.
The right health insurance type can make a huge difference in keeping healthcare affordable and usable. However, if you’re like most people, figuring out what type of coverage you need can feel confusing at best.
There are hundreds of different insurance companies and policy options to choose from, so how can you make sure you choose the best type? Here are a few things to consider when you start looking for quality health insurance.
Think About the Types of Coverage You Need
Before you can start shopping for different types of health insurance, you need to think about the types of coverage you truly need. Not all policies cover the same things.
For example, if you need prescription drug coverage to help reduce the cost of your medications, you’ll need to find a policy that offers that coverage. If you rely on specialists for certain aspects of your health, you’ll need to choose a plan that covers those types of appointments.
Take your time and write down every type of coverage you want in your health insurance policy. Then, look for insurance that offers those types of coverage. If a policy doesn’t or you’re worried that the coverage limits are too low, keep looking.
Remember, the last thing you want to do is settle on a health insurance plan that doesn’t meet your needs.
Consider Your Age
As you get older, your insurance needs change. You may require more medical care or need additional prescriptions to maintain your health. Though this may seem like a downside, there are a few unique benefits that come with age.
When you turn 65, you’re eligible for Medicare, not just employer-sponsored health insurance or policies you buy in the marketplace.
Medicare is a federally backed insurance program designed to give you access to quality healthcare when you’re no longer working. The policies are comprehensive, but there are still going to be gaps you’ll need to hedge against.
Medigap plans and supplemental policies will help reduce your out of pocket expenses, but you will have to pay for them separately.
If you’re under the age of 65, you’ll need to buy health insurance through the marketplace or enroll in your employer’s plan. You won’t be eligible for Medicare until you reach retirement age.
Look at Employers’ Plans First
Believe it or not, it’s almost always cheaper to enroll in the health insurance plans offered by your employer. They cover a portion of your monthly premium which helps keep costs low. Even better, they often have access to higher quality coverage options because they’re enrolling so many people at once.
If possible, look at your employer’s health insurance type first. Get information about the premium rates, the deductible you’ll have to pay, and the coverage limits for their policy. Then, compare that coverage against similar health insurance types in your state’s marketplace.
You don’t have to enroll in your employer’s health insurance plan if you can get a better deal on better coverage through the marketplace. However, the only way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible is to shop around.
Pay Attention to Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Every health insurance policy has certain co-pay amounts you’re expected to cover upfront for every appointment you make. These amounts vary based on the type of appointment and the type of doctor you’re going to.
Before you commit to buying a policy, make sure to review those out of pocket expenses in detail.
Often, high out-of-pocket costs mean you’ll pay less for insurance each month. This is because you’re bearing most of the cost yourself when you schedule treatments.
Low out-of-pocket costs will often come with a high premium rate. Insurance companies expect you to pay more for the convenience of paying less when you schedule appointments. So, which option is right for you?
If you’re the type of person that needs to go to the doctor frequently, high co-pay and out-of-pocket expenses will take a toll. However, if you go to the doctor infrequently, you’ll end up saving money by choosing a policy that has a lower monthly premium and a higher co-pay amount.
When in Doubt, Speak With an Insurance Agent
The more policies you can compare and explore, the easier it will be to choose the right type of health insurance for your needs. However, knowing what will work for your finances may not be as simple as you might think.
You need to weigh the benefits of each policy carefully and compare them against the amount you’ll pay for insurance every month. If you’re not incredibly well-versed in health insurance, interpreting the information you have access to can be tough.
The best thing to do is to speak with an insurance agent and let them guide you through the process. Your state’s marketplace will have a database of experienced professionals you can speak with.
Once you schedule an appointment, they’ll take the time to ask you about your concerns, your budget, and the types of policies you’ve had in the past. They’ll use this information to help you find the best insurance for your needs.
Now You’re Ready to Find the Right Health Insurance Type
Having the right health insurance type can mean the difference between paying a small amount out of pocket or draining your savings for routine healthcare. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to find a policy that works for your needs without destroying your budget.
Remember that it’s okay to take your time and research different policies before you make your decision.
Looking for more tips to help you take control of your health and wellness? Check out our latest posts.