Finding the best medical coverage is similar to finding the best sneaker. You will need to know something about the foot in question before you start looking. The best health policy for your neighbor may be a lousy one for you. Healthcare cover rates are based on several factors including age, gender, location and health history. This can mean that you will pay a very different rate for the same health care insurance policy that your neighbor signed up for.
When making decisions about health insurance coverage, there are several issues that you should contemplate when trying to find the best healthcare insurance policy for yourself or your family. One is the services covered, another is the network and a third is the price.
Knowing what ISN'T covered is crucial. You should be able to find a brochure or outline of coverage that will tell you what health care services are covered and what isn't. You should also know what your deductibles, coinsurance and cost shares would be for the different healthcare insurance contracts you are considering.
You should be able to find a section in the plan or the literature that describes it called "limitations and exclusions" or something similar. This is an important section to review. You will want to know what isn't covered before you buy.
The provider network each insurance policy comes with is another important factor to consider. Ideally, you will be able to keep your own doctor. If you can't do that with one plan, you may want to consider another contract that includes him or her in their network. As a minimum, you will want to make sure that there are other doctors in the participating providers list that are convenient to you. You will also want to make sure that a convenient hospital is in the network list of providers as well. If your job is a distance from your home, you
may also want to check the participating providers in that vicinity. The same logic applies to checking the provider network near your school or college.
The cost of your insurance policy is important, but only when you compare it with the benefits. An accident and sickness insurance policy that costs one dollar a year but that has a $100,000 deductible might not be a good deal. It is also true that a plan that cost $100,000 a year with no deductible probably isn't a good deal either.
One has to weigh the benefits of a lower premium with the lower benefits that usually come with that lower premium. You shouldn't rule out an insurance policy just because it has a moderate deductible, often the lower cost makes it a good deal.
One way to see which plan is best is to figure out what your total costs would be in two or three scenarios. You might create a worst-case scenario where you have $200,000 of expenses in the same year. Determine how much you would pay to meet your deductible, how much you would pay in co-pays and other cost shares in your scenario, then add these figures along with the policy's annual premium to estimate your total costs in this scenario. Do the same for the insurance policies you are considering and then create one or two other scenarios with more moderate costs.
This takes some work, but it is one of the best ways to determine which plan would be best for yourself and your family.
Determining which healthcare insurance policy is best for yourself and your family can take some thought and some math, but making the right decision is important. Having the right health care insurance policy when a calamity strikes can make a world of difference to both your physical well-being and your ability to avoid a personal financial disaster.
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