what to consider when choosing health insurance?

Your health is probably the most important and most valuable thing that you have, and you have to work hard to keep it that way. Nowadays this definitely is the only thing we have to pay special attention to as you never know what tomorrow will bring. This is why we all turn to health insurance. But sometimes, the choice of the right health insurance plan is a difficult one.

What if you do not know this area, and you do not know what to choose and what things you need to take into account? This article will focus on that – the things you have to consider when choosing health insurance. Also, bear in mind that this is one of the most important decisions that you have to make. Take a look:

1. The ways of getting health insurance

Commonly, there are two ways in which you can get health insurance. The first one is, normally, through your employer, and if this is the case, then you might not have the chance to actually choose the health insurance you will be getting. You will get a sponsored healthcare plan and your employer will cover for all (or almost all) of the expenses that you make in case you come down with something.

In order to fully understand everything, have a meeting with the department that deals with this (this is most commonly the HR and People’s Operations department of your company). However, if you cannot get health insurance through your employer or the employer of your spouse, you might be able to purchase your own and this is where you will have to know a bit more about the things that you need.

2. See all the possibilities

If you have to shop for health insurance yourself, here’s what you need to know. First, it would be good to know how to compare private health insurance between different companies, or to compare it with the health insurance that your company provides you with. The latter is rarely ever the case as it is basically free for you, but if you have different health insurance providers, it would be best to start with comparing the price and seeing what comes with that particular price.

Focus on the things that you will need the most – such as general doctors for checkups, medications and even smaller surgeries (in case you need them). Health insurance companies will also make a price based on certain more complicated and expensive surgeries, but since the chances of you needing those are very low (we cannot say they are actually impossible), it would be good to focus on the things that you are likely to actually need.

3. Know if the benefits you have is per person or per policy

This is a very important factor to take into account if you are a family person and if the whole family has health insurance with the same company. If you, for example, have health insurance with a benefit limit of $1500 in extras (such as optical or dental), you have the task of finding out if this is the limit that every member of your family has, or if it is the limit of your policy (in which case all of you together will be able to spend that amount on the extras).

4. High-deductible health plans

If you are not using healthcare services very often, then you might want to know more about the HDHP’s (High-deductible health plans). At first glance, these are more expensive, because there are more out-of-pocket costs in HDHPs then in HMOs (health maintenance organization) or PPOs (preferred provider organization). However, the HDHPs’ premiums are usually lower. Another perk here is that, in this case, you can have health savings accounts (also known as HSAs), which you take with you in case you change jobs.

5. Think of the questions you want to ask

Upon shopping for health insurance, you will have to speak to their representative, so it would be good to know what questions you should ask. Think of the following:

    • Is your doctor in the provider network of your health plan? (a rather important thing to ask and find out)
    • How much will you have to pay a month?
    • How much will you have to pay before the plan kicks in?
    • Is there a copay for the doctor’s visits?
    • What about prescription medications?
    • Is your doctor in the provider network of your health plan?

6. Know what perks you have

Most health insurance companies offer, apart from the regular medical services, certain perks that will encourage their clients to lead a healthier life. These extras are not the actual reason why you should choose the health insurance, but then again, it is definitely a plus to know that you can do something with the insurance as well. These are all actually deals with their business partners, and they often include gym memberships, spa programs or other services that are connected to healthy lifestyle.

It might seem this is an easy and stress-free thing to get, but there are so many things you have to worry about. This is why we suggest you take time to think about every single thing and question and only then make your decision.