Choosing which health insurance is right for you can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Before you start searching through the maraud of plans out there, there are some things that you need to decide what is and is not important to you. Not everybody has the same kinds of needs where insurance is concerned.
First, someone with a family who needs to be covered vs. someone who is single will play a big factor in the plan that you choose. In many states, the “pre-existing” clause is a major problem. It is important not just to the individual, but to the family of the insured if there is anything that could be considered “pre-existing”. A lot of insurances have gotten savoy about that too since some states have made that clause illegal. What the insurance companies do now is apply a waiting period before the insurance coverage will kick in. This applies to all applicants and allows them to get around the banned pre-existing clause.
The more people you have in your family, you may want to choose a plan with a lower premium because the cost of that plan is substantially higher than that of a single person. The problem with the lower premium plans is that they often times have a much higher deductible. That is the amount of money that a patient has to pay out of his or her own pocket before the insurance will kick in.
When you have a family, try to find out if there is one combined family deductible that can be applied as opposed to having to pay that deductible over and over for each member of your family. Even after the deductible has been met, you insurance will probably only cover a percentage of the charges. Thats where the “out of pocket” max applies and once that is met, the plan will pay at a higher percentage. However, a single person may opt to pay a higher premium and have a much lower deductible and have claims paid at a higher percentage.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the insurance company itself. The bigger the name and the amount of time it has been around for should be something to consider. The reason this is important is because you want to make sure that there is a large enough provider directory for providers in the area you live in. A lot of people sign up for the cheapest possible insurance and then find out that there are no providers in the plan that are nearby where they live or even work. Most plans will either pay a much lower rate or even, not pay at all if the provider you are seeing isn’t in their network. Some insurance companies have been known to sell plans to people with no providers in the same state as the insureds.
Lastly, a lot of plans have what is called a lifetime maximum. That is the amount of money that they will pay per person on any given plan. The most common lifetime max is $1,000,000. For most people, that is more than enough money. But for people who have a chronic illness or someone in the family who has any kind of chronic condition, depending on what it is, can burn through that money rather quickly.
Depending on how medically intense the condition is will be something to consider as well. Not to mention who unpredictable life can be and how quickly things can change. Any one of us could have an traumatic accident which alters our health for the rest of our life. With that said, it is also very hard to find a plan that doesn’t have a lifetime max. I wouldn’t be too picky where that is concerned unless it is a very low max.
In short, the key to finding the best health insurance to suit your needs is doing your homework. Once you have all of you needs in mind when selecting the health insurance, the next logical step is to find the most affordable insurance possible.
If you are a small business owner, you might be able to get a discounted rate if you go through the chamber of commerce in your area. It’s not a huge discount, but it may mean the difference between finding the right coverage for you or just settling for what you can afford.
Good luck and I wish you good health!