Health insurance is a crucial component of any financial plan, but the dizzying variety of plans and terms can make choosing the Best health insurance coverage feel more like guesswork than logistics. Finding the best health insurance for you requires time, research and some critical thinking about your circumstances.
Whether you’re a young adult just entering the workforce, an aging retiree, or anything in between, there is a plan that offers the optimal balance of coverage vs. cost. The options for healthcare are vast these days. There are public programs like Medicare and subsidized COBRA continuation coverage for former employees.
Multiple private companies offer group healthcare policies such as “Caduceus”, “BlueCross”, “Blue Cross Blue Shield”, “Aetna” etcetera. If you qualify, you may also be able to get subsidies on your premiums through one of several different government healthcare plans such as “ACA” or “Obamacare” (depending on your political affiliation). Read on to learn more about finding the best health insurance for your situation.
Step 1: Estimate Your Healthcare Needs
This is the most important consideration in choosing a health plan, yet it’s one that many people don’t give enough attention. You want to make sure you have enough coverage to cover all of your medical expenses, but you also don’t want to pay more than you need to. The best way to figure out how much coverage you need is to look back at your medical history and insurance claims over the last few years. For each procedure or service, you paid for out of pocket in the last few years, write down the approximate total cost. You can also look up the average cost for specific procedures online. Once you have a list of everything, add them all up.
This is the minimum amount of coverage you need to have. Next, you want to add in any expenses you expect to have in the future. If you have existing medical conditions or expect to have any kids soon, you’ll probably want more coverage.
Step 2: Research Plans & Their Costs
These days, it’s possible to shop for health insurance online. Many providers offer online estimators or calculators that will help you get an idea of which plans you qualify for and the costs associated with each. Additionally, most insurance companies also offer free quotes over the phone. When choosing a plan, you want to make sure it covers all of the treatments you’re likely to need. As mentioned above, it can be helpful to look back at your medical history and add in any medical procedures you expect to need in the future. In general, the more coverage you want, the more you’ll pay. For example, monthly premiums and deductibles vary widely between plans, so you’ll want to make sure you get a handle on what each plan will and won’t cover.
Step 3: Know Which Features Are Most Important to You
There are several different types of health insurance plans, and each one comes with a unique set of features. Knowing which features are most important to you will help you narrow down the field and find the best plan for your needs. For example, if accessibility is a big concern for you, you might want to look for a plan that offers same-day coverage or an option for 24/7 phone or online assistance. If you’re looking for a plan with low out-of-pocket expenses, you’ll want to choose a high-deductible plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA).
You can also refer to : The Ultimate Guide to US Health Insurance
Step 4: Select the Right Plan(s)
If you’ve done your research and know which features are most important to you, the next step is to find plans that offer those features. For example, if you know you need a high-deductible plan with an HSA, you can search for plans that meet those criteria. After you’ve found a few plans that seem like a good match, you’ll want to make sure they’re from trustworthy companies. Many providers offer excellent coverage, but some shady companies exist in the health insurance industry as well. Be sure to do thorough research on each company before signing on the dotted line. Once you’ve found health insurance plans that are right for you, you’ll need to apply. Health insurance companies have different application requirements and timelines. For example, some companies have very short application windows while others give you several months to apply. Be sure to read the fine print on each application to make sure you’re following the rules and getting your application in on time. Once you’ve applied, you’ll need to wait and see if you get accepted!