Photograph of medical instruments on a surgery table.

What to Consider When Choosing a Health Insurance Policy

Have you started looking into the health insurance plans that are available? If so, you probably know there are a lot of options. This can make the decision of which one to use complicated and frustrating. 

The good news is, when you know what to look for and what to consider, you can find the right coverage for your needs and the needs of your family. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Health Insurance is so Important

Health insurance provides both financial and medical protections in case a serious accident or illness occurs. While it helps to protect your health, it also guards against things like bankruptcy, debt, and financial hardships.

If you aren’t offered insurance through your employer, through your parents, spouse, or any other source, it’s up to you to sign up for it. For many years, if you had a preexisting medical condition, you would be denied this protection or have to pay very high premiums. However, today, it is possible for you to buy private health insurance, regardless of any current or past health concerns.

You need to understand, health insurance is designed to protect you, so be sure to take advantage of what it has to offer.

Laboratory tubes for a test
There are times when your doctor would require you to get medical exams. Having health insurance will ease the burden of paying for those tests.

Know and Adhere to the Set Deadline

In 2019, open enrollment lasted for six-weeks, and this is usually how it works each year. This is the period of time when you can apply for health insurance. If you miss the open enrollment period, you will not be able to acquire health insurance for 2020. There are some exceptions to this. For example, you have a qualifying life event, such as changing your job, having a baby, or getting married.

Select a Plan that Suits Your Life and Needs

There are several things you should think about when you are choosing a health insurance plan. For example, what are the needs of your family when it comes to health care? Who may require more care and who is relatively healthy? Is there anyone in your family who has an upcoming surgery or is pregnant? Are you satisfied with your current plan? If you aren’t, what is missing?

You also need to think about what you have spent on healthcare in the past. Are you okay with this amount changing? Do you want it to stay the same? What can you afford to spend on health care every month? Be sure to discuss these questions with everyone who will be covered on your policy. When you have determined what matters the most, you can plan for a healthy future for your family.

Renew or Change Your Existing Plan

If you currently have health insurance coverage, the only time of the year you are eligible to change it (besides the qualifying life events mentioned above) is during open enrollment. During this time, you can consider what you like about your existing benefits and if there is anything you want to change.

If you are happy with your current plan, you also have the option to renew, as long as the plan is still available. Regardless of what you choose, it is a good idea to review your needs to ensure your policy meets your changing needs.

Photo of a doctor and a nurse looking at medical papers.
It’s important for you to know and understand what your insurance policy is and to renew or change them to meet you and your family’s needs.

Get to Know the Types of Plans Available

If you want to change your health insurance, it’s a good idea to understand the options you have. You can choose from bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans. Bronze offers the lowest monthly premiums, and the costs go up from here. Platinum plans have higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs. You have to figure out what balance of up-front fees and fees at the time of service are right for you.

If you aren’t sure you can handle this buying process alone, it is a good idea to reach out to a broker or to another industry expert. They can help you figure out your health care needs and choose a plan that suits them. Don’t rush this decision, but make sure to keep the aforementioned deadlines in mind. Doing so will help ensure you and your family gets the health care coverage you need to remain healthy and protected throughout the upcoming year.



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