Health insurance as it exists today is a difficult, almost impenetrable maze of options, coverages, pricing and deductibles. The following tips are written to help you find your way to good, affordable coverage.
Calculate all costs of health insurance prior to signing a contract. Don’t buy a policy until you calculate the total of all of the associated expenses. This can be difficult if you’re not familiar with terms such as deductibles, co-pays and premiums, but do the best you can to include all costs.
Take out insurance to protect yourself against financial ruin. Health insurance should be one of the highest financial priority on your list. Health problems are always a possibility and if health concerns arise, the cost of hospital bills alone could easily bankrupt someone who does not have health insurance.
A great way to save money on insurance is to buy it online. Brick-and-mortar brokerages and insurance agents cost insurance companies money to cover their rent, salaries, health benefits, etc. Online brokerages are virtual, so they can employ fewer people and pay fewer bills resulting in savings they can pass on to you.
Consider opening a healthcare savings plan. These plans are typically for people with high deductibles and allow you to deposit funds for later use on prescriptions and other medical costs not covered in your policy. The deposits you make are usually tax-deductible, so take advantage of this offer if your insurance company provides it.
When getting dental insurance, do not get features that you do not think you are going to use. For instance, many dental plans are packed with additional discounts for prescription drug plans. If you feel like you do not need it, don’t get it. It will just end up costing you more.
Before signing documents committing yourself to a certain insurance policy, make sure to read the fine print. There may be details to the policy that the insurance provider did not tell you about. These details could cost you a significant amount of money, and prevent you from getting the proper care.
Understand your state’s laws and regulations when looking for health insurance. Some states offer protection for people with pre-existing conditions, while others don’t. By knowing the rules, you will be sure to get the best health insurance possible.
One important feature of any insurance plan is prescription drug coverage. Be sure to scrutinize all the details of your prescription drug plan so that you are familiar with how your healthcare insurer handles prescriptions. It’s especially important to understand how they cover different classes of drugs, and whether they offer generics for the prescriptions you normally take.
Let’s spend a minute talking about the differences between an HMO and a PPO. HMOs are wellness-focused: they cover almost all preventive exams, their premiums are generally far lower, and your doctor will likely be chosen for you. PPOs, on the other hand, allow you to choose doctors from a PPO network; they do cost more; but on the other hand, they are more focused on treating and covering you when things go wrong, if that makes sense. So if you want to keep costs down and are very healthy, an HMO is your best bet. If you want to be sure your coverage is as high as possible no matter what the contingency, and are willing to pay more for it, a PPO is the right choice for you.
We hope these tips have helped you. Much depends on the variables of your particular situation: the number of people to cover, and the insurance options offered under your employer. Nevertheless, these tips can start you on your way, and help you avoid potential pitfalls.