Receiving adequate healthcare without the necessary insurances could cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars (a visit to the doctor) to upwards of several thousand dollars (when surgical procedures are involved). The only way to receive some assistance in covering these costs is to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage.
However, when it comes to selecting the right health insurance provider (whether thru your employer or on your own), there are so many choices that selecting the right one can become challenging. As such, knowing what to ask and what to look for in a quality insurance provider can help you narrow down your choices and make a selection that is a good fit.
Below are three questions you’ll want to keep in mind as you begin your search for the right family health insurance plan.
1. What Types of Health Care Services Does the Plan Cover?
When asking this question, be sure to also consider your personal circumstances. Are you planning to have a baby? Do you currently have school aged children? Do you have preexisting health conditions? All of these factors will play into what type of health care you’ll need now or in the future. Certain services to consider looking into include:
· Emergency services
· Hospital care
· Lab testing
· Prenatal and newborn services
· Therapeutic services (addiction, mental health)
· Outpatient care
· Pediatric care
· Prescription drugs
· Prevention services
· Rehabilitation services
Coverage Advice: Other services you might look into include ancillary care. Such services are an extension of the services you receive from your primary doctor and can include things such as laboratory testing, compound prescriptions, and surgical implants. In fact, US Health Group suggests that ancillary services can offer better, more affordable assistance to patients.
2. What is the Actual Cost of the Plan?
Your insurance is essentially paid for in two ways: The first is the monthly premium amount and the second is your out of pocket expenses. Before making a selection on which policy is best suited for your family, you need to consider what the actual costs will be. Generally, the higher the insurance premium, the lower your out of pocket expense and vise versa. You and your family’s health can help you in determining which the better option is. For households that have family members with preexisting conditions, opting for a plan with a higher premium to cover expenses might be best. However, a household with generally good health might want to pay a lower premium amount.
Your premium amount is generally spelled out for you. However, many individuals looking for health insurance tend to overlook the true out of pocket expenses. While out of pocket expenses will vary by policy and your health condition, below are a few key terms to factor in so you can get a better idea of what your out of pocket expenses might look like.
· Deductible – The deductible, like most other insurance policies is the amount you’re required to pay on the annual basis before the insurance company will cover the remaining costs.
· Copay – The copay (generally a fixed amount) is the total amount you must pay to receive various types of care.
· Coinsurance – This is the percentage of the overall medical care costs that you’re required to pay.
Need to lower out of pocket costs: It goes without saying that the cost of health insurance for families can be a significant expense. US Health Group states that finding an insurance provider with the option for health savings accounts can help you to save a few extra bucks each year on out of pocket expenses.
3. What Does the Provider Network Look Like?
When looking for health insurance coverage, it is important to ensure that you’re satisfied with the network of providers available. Does your current doctor accept this type of insurance? If not, are there other reputable medical professionals in the area that will accept your insurance? Since you’ll need to work with “in network” providers, it will be important to ensure that you’re comfortable with the choices you have in your area. Many online insurance comparison sites have patient reviews so that you can get a firsthand idea of what each medical provider is like. From there, you can determine whether or not it’s a good fit for you and your family.
Take your time in selecting the right insurance coverage for your family as it is a decision that should not be made in haste. By keeping these three questions in mind, you can make a better decision on which insurance policy will provide the best coverage, fit into your household budget, and is accepted by quality healthcare professionals. Don’t forget to also consider your personal health circumstances to ensure that you’re getting coverage in all the necessary areas. Healthcare coverage, among other types of insurance coverage should be a top priority when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones. In fact, it’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make.