Table Of Contents
Finding the Right Plan 4
Compare Different Health Care Plans 5
Rates & Deductibles 5
Co-Pay versus Co-Insurance 6
HMO or PPO: Which Should You Choose? 8
Individual Health Insurance Extras 9
Finding Maternity Coverage 10
Getting Proper Quotes 11
Flex Spending Account 12
Health Savings Account 13
Health Insurance Checklists 16
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For more than a decade, health insurance and health insurance reform has been part of the national debate. From rising medical costs, increased premiums, changes in coverage, reduction in employer healthcare contributions and you and your family’s ever changing health care needs, choosing which policy and coverage are best can be a very daunting task. There are so many variables to consider – deductibles, pre-existing conditions, maximum lifetime coverage and varying types insurance add-ons! It is no surprise that many individuals and families find themselves with the wrong type of coverage or not enough coverage and therefore are faced with tough decisions about their medical care.
The purpose of this report is to help demystify the process of choosing health insurance for you and your family. When you understand the terminology, know the right questions to ask and are aware of your health insurance needs and budget you can confidently choose a plan that will best protect your family.
Finding the Right Plan
Before your even start your search for the right insurance plan for you and your family, there are three things you should consider and make notes about: 1) Your health care needs; 2) Your budget; and, 3) Your preferences. For instance, will someone need braces, will you be having another baby, will you be joining an age bracket that requires increased annual screenings? What co-payment on prescription drugs can you afford each month? Do you prefer to be able to see a specialist directly without a referral from your family doctor first? These are questions to ask yourself and inventory to help you determine what your needs and preferences.. To make this process easier, we have included a checklist at the end of this report with a list of things to consider.
Health Care Coverage Needs
If you were seeking health insurance for a single person, a family with young children, or empty nesters, most likely you would be given three entirely different health plans. Health insurance can seem like trying to scale a mountain, but if you start with your individual needs, it will be more like a walk on the beach.
Start by making a list of different types of health care you will need. For instance, physical check-ups and yearly vaccinations would be a great place to start for a young family. But, an older couple might want to start with prescription medication coverage.
Maternity and pediatrics are great additions for a young family while life, vision, and prescriptions would be a starting point for older couples. Make a list of coverage options that are important to you and if you are not sure where to start, ask friends and co-workers for tips and ideas; chances are, they are in the same boat and can get you on the right track.
It would be terrific if costs and our budgets wasn’t a concern but few of us are so lucky. Knowing how much you can afford in monthly premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses is also essential to choosing wisely.
Premiums and deductibles, when dealing with health care, can get expensive. When deciding on a personal health insurance plan, your budget must be at the front of your mind. Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums, but you must also be sure that paying a large chunk out-of-pocket still fits within your lifestyle. Deductible are the payments which you will incur before your insurance company will cover any of your claims.
A managed-care health insurance plan might be your best bet if you are thinking about keeping your premiums low. Managed-care health plans limit your choice of in-network providers, but allow you to keep the money under control. As with anything, the more choices you have, the more expensive the coverage becomes.
Compare Different Health Care Plans
Once you have an idea of what types of coverage you would like and how much you are willing to spend on a monthly basis, you are ready to start getting quotes from different health insurance companies. It is important to make sure, when you are getting quotes, that you ask the representatives to send your actual quote in an email or a fax. This way, you will have proof of what each representative promised.
Get at least three different quotes and see if there are any which are way off base as far as pricing or coverage. This will usually throw up a red flag that you might have missed something. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a health care representative to explain terms and conditions further; that is their job and you can tell if you are being taken advantage of if the individual is not willing to fully explain what they quoted.
Rates & Deductibles
All the talk about varying health care rates and deductibles can make anyone’s head spin. Rates and deductibles are completely independent of each other, but they do work in tandem to provide you with the best health care at a cost you can afford.Other Details
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