Before you buy health insurance, you need to confirm these 3 things

Still shopping around for health insurance? Before you settle on a plan, make sure to consider these 3 things:

1. Premium vs. deductible.

Depending on your current health and how you see yourself using your health plan, explore the balance between premium and deductible. A high premium plan might cover a lot more, with a lower annual deductible. But if you don’t need more than basic preventive care, is it worth sacrificing coverage for a more affordable premium?

2. Scope of the network.

Once you’ve found a financially attractive plan, be sure to check out their network.

Do they cover your current doctors and medications? It’s better to know now when you’re still shopping around, instead of in a few months when you get a denial of claim letter for a prescription you rely on. Having experienced the latter, I can tell you- it’s no fun.

3. Copay. 

It’s crazy how expensive healthcare can actually get! Beyond premiums and deductibles, there’s another financial hurdle to consider- your copay.

This will be the amount you pay out-of-pocket for (this term will pop up a lot) each primary care and specialty visit, as well as prescriptions. Depending on your plan, there might be a different copay for mental care visits and specialty medications. Be sure to explore plan before ultimately deciding.

BONUS!

4. Coinsurance.

Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about coinsurance. But if you have a chronic illness or can anticipate high medical costs in the near future, your coinsurance is something to be clear on now.

Coinsurance is the percentage you would pay after meeting your deductible. It’s essentially cost-sharing between the payer (insurance company) and the patient. A low premium plan might have higher coinsurance, so be on the lookout for that!

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

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