Acquiring health insurance is one of the best things you can do for your family. A good health insurance plan will give you peace of mind, and provide relief in times of need. When you or a family member is sick, you are under enough stress as it is; the last thing you need has to agonize over medical bills and healthcare costs. For these reasons, it is imperative that you get health insurance if possible.
Most employers have at least one health plan for their employees. It is often cheaper to purchase insurance policies in bulk, which is why getting health insurance from your employer is usually the right choice. If you’re lucky enough to have an employer who gives you several options, you should weigh each of them before choosing a plan. Here are some pointers on how to choose the plan that’s right for you:
- Assess and compare deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. The deductible is the amount that you will have to spend before insurance starts covering you. The co-payment, or co-pay, is the amount that you will have to pay upfront if you require medical attention. Coinsurance, on the other hand, is the percentage of the bill you will be footing. Look at the three of these values in health care plans you are considering.
- Inquire whether your doctor or doctors accept insurance plans. If they do, ask them which insurance plans they accept. If all of your doctors and health-care providers accept a certain plan, you may want to consider it (provided it’s also a decent plan in and of itself). If many of your doctors do not accept any type of insurance whatsoever, you may want to make sure the plan you choose allows for reimbursement of costs when you go to other doctors; these plans are called preferred provider organizations, or PPOs.
- Perform realistic simulations on paper. List down some of the worst health-problem scenarios you can imagine. Research to get a general idea of what these scenarios would cost you financially. It should be fairly easy to gather this data on the internet. Finally, “play out” your worst case scenarios on paper, looking how much you eventually end up paying with each plan.
All of this may sound like a lot of work, especially the last step, but it’s worth it. With some statistics reporting that 62 percent of personal bankruptcies were directly or indirectly related to health care, choosing an insurance plan may be one of the most important decisions of your life, so choose wisely.