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Top 5 Health Insurance Shopping Secrets

19 November 2017 No Comment

Everybody wants health insurance, but no one wants to shop for it. Maybe you think it’s too expensive or the process is confusing. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone. Choosing the right health insurance plan that best fits your needs is not an easy task. With so many options available, it’s advisable to get some expert insights on how to shop for health insurance.

Here are our top five health insurance shopping secrets:

Figure Out Your Budget

It’s easy to find yourself selecting the wrong health insurance policy and overspending. That’s why, when starting out, you should have a pretty good idea of how much you’re able to comfortably budget for health insurance. According to a Healthmarkets.com article on low-cost health insurance companies, you should figure out your budget but be realistic about what you can pay every month.

Unless you qualify for Medicaid or a subsidy, it’s advisable to spend around 5% of annual gross income on health insurance premiums. According to a federal Consumer Expenditure Survey, that’s the average that a U.S. consumer spends on health insurance coverage. When selecting your plan, make sure to maintain a balance between premiums and out-of-pocket costs.  

Know Your Network

When choosing a health insurance plan, you have to know who’s covered and what is covered. One of the most important factors to consider is the coverage network provided by the insurance provider. You may want a plan that has primary care physicians that you want to keep, but a plan that has your preferred doctors may end up being too expensive.

While you should be aware that health care provider networks are always in flux, you should go for an established insurance provider with a reliable network and doctors that offer quality care. You should also check if the insurer covers certain expensive medications, but most importantly choose a plan that covers your prescription drugs.  

Weigh All Your Benefit Options

You have choices when it comes to shopping health insurance. According to a Huffington Post article on health insurance shopping secrets, a lot of things that health insurance shoppers used to worry about are now gone, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. All plans now come with essential benefits, free preventative care and also protect against pre-existing diseases.

That means you can now focus on the choices that matter most to you, like affordability, convenience and what coverage makes you most comfortable when evaluating health insurance plans. Keep in mind that whatever options you choose for your plan will affect how much health insurance coverage costs you.

Low Premium Plans May Not be The Cheapest

Most health insurance shoppers tend to look at the monthly premiums alone when selecting a suitable plan. However, according to a Forbes article on what you should know before buying health insurance, low premiums could actually be the least of your costs. There are co-pays, which are small percentages of costs paid when you use a service and annual deductibles.

Consult health insurance experts as well as financial experts to analyze the various plans available and what you can afford to pay. On the other hand, don’t necessarily avoid high-deductible plans. The idea of paying high costs for health insurance may be daunting, but it can also save you money if you remain in good health and have sufficient savings to cover those expenses.

Selecting Your Plan

There’s obviously a lot to consider when it comes to shopping for the right health insurance plan. First, take a look at your employer’s options, if applicable, as well as the numerous options on the individual market. Narrow down your search by selecting options that include your doctor, your prescription drugs and the specific services you want.

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