There is power in choice. However, being able to use this power to your own benefit is only possible if you have the requisite knowledge and wisdom. Choosing among health insurance plans is necessary, since insurers offer competitive and varied plans on the health insurance market. Every prospective buyer should know how to discriminate when selecting a health insurance plan, by assessing the main criteria.
What type of health plan is it?
There are several ways to classify health insurance plans. There are indemnity plans that offer more flexibility in choosing doctors and health care providers. Managed care plans generally offer broader health coverage, although the providers associated with these plans are stipulated.
There are health plans that cover either major or minor medical expenses. Some health plans cover both. It is generally advisable not to focus on health plans that cover minor medical expenses that may not be utilised, since these tend to be more expensive. Insurance should provide insulation against catastrophic losses, not routine medical expenses.
There also exist plans that offer individual versus family coverage. Acquiring family coverage is better, since the cost per person would be significantly lower.
What does it cover?
The plain fact is that some medical plans cover more illnesses or conditions than others. Coverage may be better for the same illnesses with some plans; as opposed to the rest. The number and type of illness or treatments covered are a crucial way of distinguishing among health insurance plans.
How much coverage is provided?
Certain health plans offer umbrella coverage and operate on the basis of a reducing balance. Other plans may have a specific sum assured that is honoured once a legitimate claim is made under the plan and regardless of the expenditure incurred. You could also assess health insurance plans on the basis of deductibles and limits under the plan. A few health insurance plans provide coverage amounts per period as well.
Are there any additional benefits provided?
Additional benefits on health insurance plans include: income disability, preventive care, prescriptions and vision care. That list is by no means exhaustive. This criterion can help you to select and customize a health plan so that it provides the maximum value in relation to its cost.
What is in the fine print?
Disclaimers and specific claim procedures are an important dimension of health plans. If you find that a particular insurer has a complicated claims process or a limited number of providers associated with the plan, you may desire to use a more client-friendly health plan from a different insurer. Whether the health plan covers pre-existing conditions or not is also a detail that is often overlooked.
For how long is coverage provided?
Average life expectancies in most countries are on the rise. Yet, a number of health insurers only offer coverage barely past the retirement age. There are very few plans on the market that offer lifetime coverage, but these should be sought. It is difficult to know that you’re entering a plan that would leave you high and dry when you need it most.
With health insurance, premiums can either be level or adjustable. It is important to know what happens to the premiums over time before you commit yourself to a health plan.
Choosing among health insurance plans can also include choosing among insurers. You want to deal with a reputable company with a claims process that is of the highest integrity. The solvency of the company is important as well. Ultimately, the health plans should meet your needs as best as possible. Using the aforementioned criteria makes choosing a valuable health plan easier and more systematic.