USHealth Group wants to help make choosing an insurance plan easier for you. Try our approach to picking a plan and you may be pleasantly surprised at how effective it is. Find out how you can select a plan by reading on!
With every year comes the time for open enrollment for insurance plans. Now is the time when state and national health insurance exchanges and employer plan exchanges occur. Unfortunately, this process can be intimidating and time-consuming for many. There are often so many choices and options as well as plans with varying levels of complexity, so it’s no wonder that people often find themselves having difficulty with the process of choosing an insurance plan.
Depending on where you live there may be more or fewer choices available. For Denver, Coloradans, they have around 120 plans to sort through, while in New York City someone has over 200 plans to look through. It’s no surprise that people can feel overwhelmed when thinking about having to sort through the plans available and not only choose a plan, but pick one that will serve their healthcare needs.
Choosing an Insurance Plan
Three things are especially relevant when comparing and selecting plans: cost, networks, and how likely you are to require medical attention as the year continues. Check them out and you will have a basic structure or guide that will help you figure out what you’re looking for in a plan.
For every plan you consider, figure out the least you will pay for the insurance for the year and the maximum possible cost. You can get this information from either your employer or through a site that has collected exchange plan data or the exchange site of your state. You can get the minimum cost by multiplying the monthly premium number by 12. If you are getting a subsidy or if your employer pays part of your premium, just count the portion of the premium that you are paying for yourself.
You can get the max cost by adding the out of pocket maximum amount to the annual premium amount. The out-of-pocket maximum usually cannot exceed a certain number, not including premiums, so see what that might be for your state. You could have to pay quite a lot for annual premiums in addition to out-of-pocket maximums, but you’re going to have to pay this for a variety of reasons involving the need for significant health care. This includes injuries, physical therapy, MRIs, or having a baby.
If you already have doctors that you would like to continue consulting, you can continue working with them if you see which plans they accept. If you are planning to maintain your relationship with various doctors or pediatricians, just call their office and see which insurance plans they take. This is a quick way to figure out which plans you need to look at first. If they are beneficial and you like what they offer, this is an easy way to eliminate other plans that might be helpful but aren’t accepted by the doctor or place you like to go to, which is key.
Expected Healthcare Needs
The last thing you need to consider is what you think your healthcare needs will be for the next year. If you’re healthy and relatively young and not planning on having a baby or an unexpected injury or illness, you may want to put more weight on the premiums, as they are the minimum you’ll have to pay. Odds are good that you won’t need treatment for much other than some random thing that pops up like a UTI or something like that which is treatable and not going to take a lot of medical attention (translation: fewer bills and money owed by you).
If you are middle-aged and have a history of injury or disease in your family or a health condition, you may want to put more emphasis on the maximum possible cost for out-of-pocket. Paying more each month in premiums may not be fun, but it could save you a lot of money over the year. Pay attention to the deductibles, as these will be what you pay first for most plans. If you’re expecting a medium to high amount of healthcare over the year, take deductibles into account. But don’t rely on it too heavily, as different medical care comes with different prices and can have you moving towards the out-of-pocket max.
Use these three factors to help you pick an insurance plan. By crunching the numbers, evaluating what doctors you’d like to visit, and predicting your expected need for healthcare, you can easily sort through the plans available to you and pick something that will have you covered to the max. Read more about USHealth Group on Indeed.