Finding a health care plan for your family is no easy task. Depending on the size of your family and the ages of your family members are the most important factors to consider when evaluating health coverage plans. Young newlyweds with no children may consider coverage plans with less coverage than an older married couples with children. Open enrollment for most insurance companies fall in October and November.
This is the time when most families have the opportunity to switch plans. Health insurance is a vital necessity for every family. Considering the number of insurance companies that exist, shopping for health care plans can be overwhelming. Finding the right company, coverage, and plan for your family can be simplified by creating a checklist to break down the process. With this in mind, below are a few factors to consider as you compare companies, coverage and plans to meet your family’s needs.
- PREMIUMS are the amount you pay monthly. This is the most obvious expense associated with health coverage. It is important to find insurance that fits your budget and gives your family the coverage needed. Keep in mind that health plans with low premiums usually have restricted networks and higher deductibles. Higher premiums may offer lower deductibles and give access to more doctors.
- OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES include co-payments, coinsurances, and deductibles. Some companies do not cover preventive care services, such as immunizations, cancer screenings, and other specialists’ medical exams. These expenses can be costly depending on your health conditions and medical assistance you may need.
- PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE is another expense to consider when selecting a medical health plan. It is very important to know that the medications you need are covered by your health plan. Many companies use formularies, or lists of covered drugs, categorizing prescriptions into tiers. Many only cover generics or have copays for name-brand drugs.
- NETWORKS is a list of healthcare providers the insurance companies will pay for services rendered. Using providers outside of the network can be very expensive. Claims for using out of network providers may be denied. Networks can change each year. Often providers are withdrawn and new providers added each open season. It is important to make sure the doctors you visit regularly are within your chosen company’s network.
- HMO VS PPO – HMO’s have limited networks and require all of your medical care needs to be provided by a primary physician. PPO’s, on the other hand, provide more freedom and allow you to pursue medical care without referrals.
- PERKA AND OTHER BENEFITS – Some insurance plans offer complementary resources for their members. These perks are often wellness programs to promote tools and programs that promote good health. Some perks offered may include gym memberships, free counseling sessions, rides to appointments, and legal consultations. Australia’s health system is one of the best in the world while the U.S. government does not provide such health benefits to citizens or visitors. Any time you get any sort of medical care, someone has to pay for it.
Other services that may be provided are online portals to allow members to connect with health professionals via video chats, track claims, or make appointments. These perks may sweeten the choice to select a particular company over another that does not offer these services.
- HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT ELIGIBILITY is another issue to consider when selecting a healthcare company. Often called HSA. A health savings account is a valuable financial tool. In 2019, a family plan can contribute up to $7,000 in tax-deductible contributions to an HSA. Persons 55 and older can contribute an additional $1,000.
In any case, when selecting a medical health company for your family, keep in mind the health care you needed the previous year. You must consider your prescription needs, specialists’ needs, and last year’s deductibles use. If planning any life-changing events, such as having a baby or major surgery, you want to make sure the company you choose will provide adequate coverage for the upcoming event.
Remember, you will pay a monthly cost for your medical coverage, whichever company you may choose. Companies and plans differ in the services they offer and the price you pay for those services. Your family’s health needs are very important. You want to make the right choice when selecting a health care plan for them.