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Health insurance is unquestionably one of the most important policies to have. You typically have a limited time to choose the best health insurance plan for your family, but rushing and picking the wrong coverage can be a costly mistake. Consider the following tips before getting health insurance, whether from an employer, a state or federal marketplace, or both.

  1. Pick the Right Provider

    Health insurance through an employer is a good choice because they will typically pay a percentage of your premiums. Ask your company’s manager or the human resources department if they can offer you any health insurance plans.

    Alternatively, you can use Healthcare.gov to find healthcare on your own. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has enabled individuals to enlist in a government health plan.

    If you’re 65 or older or have certain disabilities, you may consider enrolling in Medicare. It is a federally sponsored program, and most of your medical expenses are covered.

  2. Understand Your Needs

    A question you need to ask yourself before buying insurance is, do you want health insurance in the event of an emergency or for ongoing care. If you’re pretty healthy, any plans might work. However, suppose you, your spouse or a dependent family member has certain ongoing medical needs. In that case, you must select the appropriate health insurance considering plans with in-network and out-of-network providers.

    You also need to compare the health insurance plans available. A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), for example, often has a strict provider network. Costs may not be covered if you see a physician outside the network. In contrast, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) will give you a wider range of healthcare providers. While it may be slightly more expensive to see a provider through a PPO than an out-of-network provider, they’ll still pay a portion of the cost.

  3. Take Advantage of Health Plan Networks

    Your health insurance “network” refers to the medical providers and facilities your health plan has contracted to provide your care. What makes the network important? Because insurance companies negotiate lower rates with in-network doctors, costs are lower when you visit an in-network physician. Out-of-network doctors don’t have set fees, so you’re usually responsible for a larger bill when you visit them.

  4. Check the Scope of Services

    Reread the list of perks to see which plans offer a greater range of services. While some have superior emergency coverage, others may better cover services like physical therapy, reproductive treatments, and mental health care. You may miss out on a plan that is much more suited to you and your family if you skip this brief but crucial step.

  5. Beware of Scammers

    Unfortunately, scams have become a common occurrence in day-to-day life. You’re bound to run into a few cons even when shopping for more mundane things like insurance. While buying health insurance, it’s best to do your homework before selecting a company. Some plans may sound alluring because of their lower rates, but they can be “short-term” plans that don’t cover essentials like prescription drugs or yearly check-ups.

Shopping for health insurance on your own doesn’t have to be difficult. If you are a first-time buyer, know that you have several options. Contact our insurance professionals today at Abbate Insurance Associates Inc. to find the best health insurance policy for your specific needs.

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