Open enrollment season has begun, which means that this is the time when most Americans have the opportunity to switch between plans. Choosing the right health insurance plan can be quite daunting, but breaking down the process into a definite criterion can simplify it for many.
We’ve compiled a checklist that will help you in making the right decision for you.
Most of the times, people pay unnecessary attention to premium since this is the amount you need to pay the insurance company. This amount is surely important, but you need to also know that the cheapest plan may not be the best one out there. The low premium can have higher deductibles or simply a restricted network. So, when choosing a plan, focus on the monthly cost instead of just the premium.
Out of pocket expenses:
Health insurance plans are almost always accompanied by several out of pocket expenses. The deductible is the definite amount you need to pay every month, but this may not include some hidden costs like immunization shots, screenings, etc. These costs are difficult to identify, so we suggest you take the help of a financial planner if you can afford it. You can also question the insurer directly regarding any queries you have.
Prescription drug coverage:
It is not enough to know that your plan includes prescription drugs, it is important to know that your specific drugs will be covered or not. Some insurers categorize prescription drugs into tiers and suggest lower-tier drugs be used first then switching to the more expensive ones. While generic drugs mean a low copay but brand name drugs cost more. This is one aspect you should be careful with.
Times have changed, and health insurance policies no longer allow you to go to whichever doctor you like. Most plans have a network of providers, and going to a doctor outside this network may mean higher copayments or a denied claim. One key point to consider when switching between plans is to check that your preferred doctor is covered.
The above points will narrow down your choices. To further refine your options, go through the summary of the benefits of these plans, and see which ones offer a wider scope of services. Opt for plans with better coverage for fertility, physical therapy, and mental healthcare and not just emergency coverage.
Once you’re down to 2-3 options, you can call each customer service to address whatever questions you have before making a final decision.