While it would be lovely if our families were always 100% healthy and never needed healthcare, that unfortunately isn’t the case. Whether it is a dentist appointment, an unfortunate accident or a yearly eye exam, most of us (and our families) use healthcare on a regular basis. Unfortunately, using these healthcare services can come with incredibly high costs. In fact, Americans spend trillions of dollars every year on healthcare.
Thankfully, having health insurance can often make these doctor visits and appointments a bit easier to financially handle. Whether you get your health insurance from HealthMarkets or from another provider, insurance can often lessen or limit how much you need to spend.
Unfortunately, with so many options, choosing the right one for your family can be difficult. With that in mind, this blog post is going to help you decide which health insurance plan is the best for your family.
Compare the Costs and Benefits
The best way to decide which plan is the best for your family is to evaluate the benefits and costs of each plan. You need to be aware of what services are covered in each plan, the deductibles, the co-pay, out-of-pocket costs you will be responsible for and premiums.
Also, what you choose will depend on what you and your family are the most comfortable with. For example, some companies will be okay with paying higher premiums if it keeps their deductibles low, while others will prefer the inverse. Don’t forget that plans can change year after year, so be sure to look at the details of your plan before you decide to simply re-up for another year.
If you are struggling to decide which is the best option, consider working with a broker. They can help you compare the plans you have already discovered, and could also find additional plans that might make sense.
Know the “Type” of Plan that Works the Best
In addition to the contents and benefits of each plan being different, so are the “types”. There are several different types of health insurance plans, and knowing the differences is critical to making the right choice for your family. Four of the most common types of health insurance are:
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
This type of insurance will limit your care to those doctors and providers that are in-network with your insurance. Out-of-network care generally is not covered. You may also need to live and/or work in the right service area to be eligible to get the full coverage.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)
Another popular option, a PPO allows you to use any doctor or specialist without a referral, for more flexibility. However, you will spend less and save money if you utilize in-network providers.
POS (Point of Service)
With this plan, you can use any doctor or specialist, but will pay less if you use doctors or hospitals that are in the right network. The difference with this plan is that you are required to get a referral from your primary doctor in order to see a specialist.
EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization)
These managed plans where you will only get coverage for service if you use doctors or specialists that are in-network. However,there are some certain emergencies where this won’t be the case.
These aren’t the only types of plans, but are among the most common. The one that you choose will depend on your wants, needs and your own unique situation. Some might prefer the flexibility of a PPO, while others will prefer an HMO or EPO.
Be Aware of the Healthcare Services You Use and Need
Of course, in order to truly know whether a plan makes sense for your family, you need to be aware of your needs and the type of services you use. Take a look over the past year at your healthcare expenditures. Whether it be doctors appointments, prescriptions, dental care or anything else.
Looking at these numbers should show you the services you used the most. Thus, these are the ones that should be covered. Also, don’t forget to think about the future. These plans will last you for the year, so be sure to look ahead and see/think if you will require the use of any specific health care services. Preparing ahead can be a lifesaver and keep you from being surprised with a huge bill.
In conclusion, the tips and information within this article will be able to help you decide which health insurance plan is the best for your family. It can be a stressful time to weigh the options and decide, but it will be well worth it in the end when you get a great health insurance plan.