The need for healthcare is a reality. Making sure that you and your children are covered in case of emergency shouldn’t be brushed aside. As often as children get sick, break bones, and visit emergency rooms, your monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles may seem minuscule compared to the debt you can rack up by not protecting yourself and your family with health insurance.
When accessing what kind of plan you would like to get for your family, enlist the help of a professional. Your agent should be well versed on different plans and companies and offer you assistance breaking down what each plan covers.
First, you and your agent will have to access each person that will be covered. Be as honest and thorough as you can be. Hiding any disabilities or diseases will only hurt you in the long wrong. You may be legally liable for lying to your insurer and whatever plan you may choose may not offer proper medical coverage.
Consider any diagnosed diseases. Look at your family history. Do your children tend to get sick often? Are they accident prone? Any allergies? Are you planning to have more children? What medications do each of you take?
Next, you will have to debate if you would like an HMO or a PPO plan. An HMO plan usually has lower deductibles and co-pays, however you are restricted to using their providers. Read the fine print, a lot of HMO’s have caps on what insurers will pay towards hospital bills and a number of diseases, costs, and prescriptions that they will not cover. For short term, an HMO will probably be sufficient, but for long term you may want to consider a PPO.
A PPO plan is usually a little more money and has higher deductibles. In case of catastrophe however, these plans usually cover far more cost and diseases. These are comparable to what a lot of health packages that employers offer contain.
After deciding your type of plan you will need to decide if you want a low deductible and higher monthly bill, or a higher deductible and a lower monthly bill. If you have a large family, opting to pay a little more a month may be advantageous because you will surely meet your annual deductible. If it is just you and your husband, look at how often you usually go to the doctor. After computing how much you expect to pay in co-pays, doctors visits, and lab costs, it may be more advantageous to opt for a lower monthly bill and a higher deductible.
A word of warning, for mom’s. If you plan to get pregnant again, make sure that your plan covers maternity. Most plans do not, or have a waiting period from the day you initially sign up. Read any fine print on your policy. You may find yourself in a precarious situation if you think you have maternity only to find out that coverage only becomes active after a year waiting period.
Children average more emergency room visits than any other sector of the population. Although healthcare may seem like a financial burden, your monthly fees and co-pays may look like a drop in the bucket compared to the hospital bills you could rack up if you don’t have insurance. A friend of mine let coverage lapse for one month, her appendix burst and she spent the next three years paying off her $30,000 medical debt. Stay ahead of the game – prepare for the unexpected.