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How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan

hi-5Shopping for a health insurance plan can be challenging. Insurance agents are trying to sell a product so you can’t always believe what they say. Instead, you have to educate yourself to choose the best health insurance plan.

First, you need to determine your family’s medical needs. If your family is relatively healthy, takes no regular prescriptions, and doesn’t suffer from chronic illnesses, you can typically choose a plan with lower premiums that cover office visits but has a higher deductible or co-insurance for hospital stays, surgeries and prescription drugs.

On the other hand, if someone in your family has a serious medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, you’d be better off paying higher premiums and having a lower deductible since you may need more than an office visit. Since most of these conditions require the ongoing use of prescriptions, you want to not only be sure that your policy covers most of the costs of prescriptions but also pays for related health care needs, such as needles if you need to self-inject insulin.

Besides your current health needs, you may also want think about the future. Do you want to have children? You may not know this but most health insurance plans currently consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition and often won’t cover the costs associated with obstetrical care for the mother. In fact, many policies do not cover maternity costs at all unless you purchase additional coverage. If you are considering starting a family, you want to take these facts into consideration purchasing a health care plan. Slash Your Health Insurance Premiums. Search for Lower Rates

Before you start shopping, you may want to look at how much you spent last year on health care, including doctor visits and prescriptions. Knowing this can help you estimate how much you might end up paying out-of-pocket with each plan in addition to the premiums. If you don’t spend enough to meet the high deductible of a specific plan, for example, you’ll be wasting the money you do spend on premiums because the plan won’t cover any of your expenses.

Additionally, you need to be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on premiums and additional out-of-pocket medical costs. For example, you may find a comprehensive plan with high premiums you can barely afford chances are you won’t have the funds available to pay for the co-payments and co-insurance costs that go along with using the coverage.

As you’re comparing policies, keep in mind that everything comes down to a trade-off. If the plan covers preventative care almost completely, chances are you’ll pay more out-of-pocket for emergency care. If your plan does a great job of paying for your prescriptions, it probably won’t be as great at covering the costs of X-rays and lab work. That’s why it is important that you do an honest assessment of your health care needs and budget before shopping around for a policy then compare quotes and plans to find the right one for your needs.