How Do I Choose the Best Health Insurance?

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Learn the basics of health insurance to select the best plan for you and your family.

hopping for insurance is a decision that depends on many factors: plan availability, specific healthcare needs, and income. In order to pick a plan that covers expensive medical costs and protects your health, there are a few points you should check.

Compare plans

Not all insurance plans are the same. Some offer more coverage than others and give you more or less autonomy to choose your physicians. Reading initials like HMOs or HDHPs can be off-putting at first, but once you learn about each plan, it becomes easier to pick among bronze, silver, gold, and platinum benefits.

Learn about cost-sharing 

You have to pay a premium just to have insurance, but there’s more than one cost. Depending on the benefits you choose, you’ll need to pay a higher percentage of your expenses, along with deductibles, copayments, and coinsurances that are lower or higher according to your plan. Know your shares so you can plan ahead.

Consider your preferred specialists

Let’s say you visit a pulmonologist once a year at a healthcare center in Ocean View, NJ to treat an illness. When shopping for insurance, check their covered providers to know whether this center is within their network. Out-of-network professionals or establishments could cost you a high share or the entire bill.

Don’t forget prescription drugs

Prescription drugs are often overpriced, especially when you need them regularly. According to a 2015 eHealth survey, 35 percent of customers paid unexpectedly high costs for medications. So read your plan’s list of approved medicines (or “formulary”) to see if your drugs are covered and avoid expensive surprises.

Get a health insurance quote

Still in doubt? An online health insurance quote can help you find affordable plans near you based on your household income and number of children, for instance. It’ll assist you in choosing an individual or family plan, and indicate all costs before you make a final decision.

Final Slide: Health problems often come unannounced, and when they happen, your primary focus should be fast recovery, not expensive medical bills. With the ideal health insurance, you’ll save money in emergencies and preventative healthcare without feeling guilty for putting your health first.

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