Comparing Health Care Coverage and Choosing a Health Insurance Plan
Choosing a single health insurance policy that will cover all your needs can be hard. The changes made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have made this process that much harder. You must make sure the plan you choose meets your requirements.
If your employer offers several insurance plans, you should ensure they meet the ACA requirements. Several factors can affect your decision, which means you need to choose a plan that works well for you.
Consider Your Coverage Options and Limits
You need to consider to what extent each insurance plan will cover your expenses. The best plans usually do not have a ‘lifetime benefit maximum’. If you were to be diagnosed with cancer for example, you will quickly reach this limit. If all the plans you are looking into have the ‘lifetime benefit maximum’, you need to choose a plan with the highest maximum as well as a yearly rate you can afford.
Consider Out-of-Pocket Expenses
When comparing healthcare coverage, you should consider how much your deductible per year would be. Deductibles refer to the amount of money you will have to pay from your own pocket before the insurance company starts paying for part of the cost. In some plans, you will have to pay the deductible before they cover your office visits.
Some other plans require a co-payment for office visits but they do not consider that amount as part of the deductible. This means that you should check how much your co-payments and co-insurance are. Co-payments refer to the amount you need to pay upfront when you go to the emergency room or when you see a doctor. On the other hand, co-insurance refers to the amount you need to pay after the insurance company pays its part.
The most common co-insurance payment amount is 80/20, which means the firm will pay for eighty percent of the costs and you will pay twenty percent. You also have to look at the out-of-pocket maximums listed in each individual plan. When you reach the limit, your insurance will cover the rest.
If an insurance plan has a high deductible, the out of-pocket costs should be the same.
Total Your Maximum Costs
If the worst was to happen to you, how much would you pay for each plan? You need to add the cost of insurance for each plan. If your health is poor, you should opt for plans with the lowest out-of-pocket costs per year.
However, if your health is relatively good, choose a plan with the lowest premiums. Depending on your situation, the least expensive policy might not be the best one for you.
Do Not Disregard High-Deductible Options
Many employers are starting to offer high-deductible insurance plans – they have a lower premium but you will have to pay for everything until you met the deductible. The amount you have to pay will vary from 1000 dollars to 5000 dollars. In such a case, you need to set aside enough money per year to pay the deductible.
Make the most of Your Health Plan
Once you find the right plan for your needs, you need to make the most out of the policy you choose. Take your time and go through the different rates to ensure you understand them. For instance, an x-ray might be covered as part of an urgent care visit but might not be fully covered if your doctor asks you to visit another lab for the x-ray.
You also need to review your medical bill to see if there are any mistakes.