Choosing health insurance can be an important decision in anyone’s life and with the variety of options available it can take a little time to find a policy that is suitable. Most people will likely consider a few different options before finally settling on a plan that is appropriate for their circumstances. This typically means that they will compare health insurance plans before buying and the following are a few tips for doing this.
Check the annual deductible
An important aspect when you want to compare health insurance plans is the annual deductible that needs to be paid. This is the amount of money the insured person has to meet in up-front costs before the insurance company will start to meet the bills. In most cases the person being insured has the option of choosing the deductible they want to pay, although the amounts can vary from plan to plan. In traditional health insurance the allowable deductible can be lower than for a high deductible plan and typically the higher the deductible the lower the monthly premiums. However, it is important to have the deductible amount available should you end up in a situation where you need to pay for medical treatment. For those in reasonable health that consider they are unlikely to need medical treatment, choosing a high deductible can be a way of achieving lower monthly premiums and it is certainly an option to consider. For others who consider they may be likely to need more regular healthcare treatment, a lower deductible may be a more appropriate course of action.
Check the coinsurance rate
Another option with regard to costs when comparing different health insurance plans is the coinsurance rate included in a policy. In many cases after the annual deductible has been met, a health insurance policy will specify a coinsurance rate, which is the split of money between the insured person and the insurance company for paying a medical bill. It can therefore be worth checking what coinsurance rate is included in different policies such that you can select a plan that best fits your needs. A typical coinsurance rate is 80/20, with the insurance company paying the higher percentage. However the coinsurance rate can vary from policy to policy and it is always worth checking what this is before signing up to a plan as some may offer a lower rate for the insured person.
Check the policy on selection of doctor
An important consideration for those that want to compare health insurance plans is the doctors they will be allowed to see. Many policies will have a preferred list of doctors that the insured person needs to select from and it can be important to research these before signing up to a plan. The insured person needs to be comfortable with the options available in terms of the doctors they can consult for treatment. This includes the professional reputation of a physician, with the American Medical Association being a useful resource for this. However, it is also important to consider the location of a doctor’s practice, as well as their hours of operation to ensure these are suitable for you.
Many health insurance plans have an exclusion list of what is not covered under the terms of the policy. It is common sense to check the exclusion lists of health insurance plans you are comparing to see if there are any conditions that may be important to you that are excluded. This can assist in the final selection of a plan.
Consult a health insurance agent
The various options for those looking to compare health insurance plans can be confusing and a simple tip for a little more clarity is to consult a health insurance agent. These are trained in the finer details of health insurance plans and can provide assistance to find the best option and cost. The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) has an online database which can be used to find an agent in your area. This can be one of the simplest ways to find a health insurance agent that can provide assistance in finding a suitable policy.
When selecting coverage for medical bills it is obviously important to compare health insurance plans to find one that best suits your needs and circumstances. There are a few tips for doing this and some of the common options that should be considered when comparing various health insurance policies are shown above. These should typically be looked at carefully before signing on the dotted line.