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A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

By on October 8, 2020 0 298 Views

Time is limited when it comes to choosing the best health insurance for your family, but rushing and picking the wrong one can be expensive and stressful for you in the long run. Here is a guide to help you choose the best plan for you and your family, whether it is through the federal marketplace or an employer.

Step 1: Choose Your Health Insurance Plan Marketplace

Most people get health insurance through an employer. If you are one of these people, you will not need to use government insurance exchanges or marketplaces. 

If your employer offers health insurance but you wish to search for an alternative plan in the exchanges, you can. If your job does not provide health insurance, you can shop on your state’s public marketplace or the federal marketplace to find the lowest premiums. You can start by going to HealthCare.gov and entering your ZIP code during open enrollment. You can also buy health insurance through a private exchange or directly from an insurer. 

Step 2: Compare Types of Health Insurance Plans

While comparing health insurance plans, look for a summary of benefits. Most marketplaces usually provide a link to the summary and cost online. If you are going through your employer, you can ask your workplace benefits administrator for the summary of benefits.

Make sure to take your family’s medical needs into account when comparing different plans. Figure out the amount and type of treatment they have received in the past. Though it is impossible to predict every medical expense, being aware of past trends can help you make an informed decision.

Step 3: Compare Health Insurance Plan Networks

Costs are lower when you get treated by in-network doctors because insurance companies set contracts for lower rates with in-network providers. When you go out of the network, healthcare providers do not have agreed-upon rates, so it is likely that you will be paying a higher portion of the cost.

Step 5: Compare Benefits

By now, you are likely to have your options narrowed to just a few. To shortlist your options further, go back to summaries of the other plans to see if they cover a wider scope of services. Some plans may have better coverage for things like fertility treatments, physical therapy, or mental health care, while others might have better emergency coverage.

Finally, once you choose a new plan, do not forget to discontinue your old plan before it starts.

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