Choosing a health insurance plan can be a complicated task. And that’s perfectly understandable.
There’s not really a “quiz” out there that you can take. But, thankfully, there’s a really process that you can follow.
Despite the tricky navigation many people deal with insurance plans, a great number of individuals change their employer-purchased health insurance to individually-purchased.
And for you, this whole insurance thing becomes even more significant to become an informed consumer.
So, are you struggling in picking the best insurance plan? We share 4 easy tips to help you.
1. Choosing A Health Insurance Plan: Understanding How Individual Health Insurance Works
Individual health insurance coverage is getting plenty of attention in the United States, and it’s a type of insurance a person buys for himself and his family.
In addition, those shopping health insurance plans on the public marketplaces may be eligible for premium discounts.
It’s like this:
Basically, someone pays an insurance company monthly in order to get medical coverage for him and his family.
They pay a monthly fee (premium) and in return get a certain level of coverage.
If anything were to happen, like needing to see a doctor or going to the emergency room, then that person would have to pay a fee towards their total “deductible” amount.
If their deductible is $3,000, then they would have to pay the first $3,000 in medical expenses.
Any accumulated bills greater than $3,000 would be covered by the insurance company.
2. Not All Health Insurance Plans Are Created the Same
While plans have become more regulated since 2014, they’re not exactly considered suitable for everyone.
And that means great news because you have the freedom to customize your insurance plan that’s quite suitable for your health and financial needs.
Factors To Consider When Evaluating Health Insurance Plans
It’s always wise to consider the network providers: are your medical centers and doctors included in the network? Evaluating your preferences is a good step.
1. Insurance Company
This one’s very important. It pays to know the health insurance company’s track record, customer management and tools, and their customer service.
Still confused about what the different health insurance terms mean? We’re glad to help, and we got this for you.
2. Coverage Level
You’ll need to carefully consider the amount your insurance will pay for when you need medical assistance, and the amount you’ll be responsible for.
Some helpful note: plans are grouped by metallic tier in similar coverage levels.
That way, you’ll know which type of health insurance plan that’s best for you.
For example, a “Bronze” plan has almost the same amount of financial responsibility for the policyholder.
Somehow, you might think if getting health insurance would also mean getting medical help from your favorite doctors. To better understand the coverage that allows seeing your medical specialists for years, read on:
3. Can you visit your favorite doctors?
That’s such an excellent question you may have in mind.
Let’s say you simply want the best healh insurance plan that can help you in certain health appointments or cases of emergency with your trusted doctor.
As mentioned earlier, not all health insurance plans are the same.
And isn’t it great that we get to use our favorite doctors’ medical services or medical centers with our chosen health insurance plan?
For that type, an Indemnity or fee-for-service plan is for you.
What is a Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan and how can it help me and my family?
“This type of health policy is intended to cover young people and those going through difficult times. Individuals younger than 30 years old are eligible, which is the age cutoff for qualifying for a catastrophic health insurance.”
Why would you want catastrophic health insurance?
If you’re young and VERY healthy, then this could be a good option for you.
It basically covers the basics – one or two doctors visits per year.
And it has a pretty high deductible – so that, in the worst-case scenario like if you’re in an accident, then you’re at least covered up to a certain amount. But, there’s a positive flip-side to this – the monthly premiums are really cheap.
3. Applying For a Subsidy (Even If You Have Coverage Through Your Job)
Even though you may be offered job-based coverage you may be able to apply for a subsidy. If the employer-based plan is more than 9.56% of the employee’s household income for the employee only then the applicant can apply for a subsidy.
See below link below.
Just because you have insurance through work does not mean that you still can’t save money.
4. Am I Eligible for Discounts from Premium Tax Credits in My Chosen Health Insurance Plan?
You might ask yourself: “what is premium tax credit?”
It’s a refundable tax credit created to help qualified individuals and families whose income is in the below-to-average category.
It also helps them to afford health insurance bought through the Exchange or Health Insurance Marketplace, and a sliding scale determines the household size of your premium tax credit.
Another good thing here is, you have the option to advance your premium tax credit to reduce the monthly premium, or not.
In other words, tax premium credits mean affordable individual health insurance for many Americans.
Eligibility for a premium tax credit:
- If your earnings are categorized between certain income limits
- If you aren’t offered affordable health coverage through a government exchange or an employer
4. Shop Around for the Best Health Insurance Plan
Do you think you’re eligible for a premium tax credit?
Pick only the best health insurance plan that will work for you and your family.
Check your state for plans available on the Marketplace.
Or better yet, a broker can help you find the best insurance plan.
As you strive to know more about health insurance plans, remember how individual policies work, how the insurance plan is designed, getting qualified for premium tax credits, and understanding the cost.
By reading and learning about these tips, you’re well on your way to picking the best health insurance plan tailored for your health and financial needs.
Got any more questions? Don’t worry, we’ll help you find a better solution to your needs.