What Should I Know Before Getting Health Insurance?

If you’re at the point in your life where you’re looking to get health insurance, there’s some things you’ll need to know first. Health insurance can be overwhelming and confusing to understand and get started. This article will help guide you through the process of understanding what you need and choosing the right insurance for you.

Be Sure to Shop Around

Since health insurance has become available on an open market, there are many more options when it comes to buying insurance. No longer do you have to choose between 1 or 2 plans. When it’s open enrollment season, it’s smart to shop around just like you would for car insurance, cell phone plans, etc. Be sure to do your research and look at multiple plans to ensure you find the best one.

Find Plans that Cover Your Doctors

If you’re one of those people who are particular about their doctors or see certain networks of doctors for certain illnesses or conditions, it’s important to ensure the health insurance carrier is accepted by those doctors. If you find a plan you like, be sure to call your doctors to ask if they accept your plan. You can also call the insurance carrier to ask about the doctor’s network status.

Choose Plans that Suit Your Special Needs

Some people require monthly prescriptions, medical equipment, physical therapies, or counseling. If these things are important to you, you need to research plans in detail. As Forbes accurately points out, “just as not all health insurance plans cover all doctors, not all benefits are always covered.” It may be possible that you are someone who does not need to worry about any ‘extras,’ but if you require other “must-have” services, it’s important to look at the services each plan covers.

Pay Attention to Overall Price

Just because you see a low premium price on a plan, that doesn’t mean it actually ends up being the cheapest plan. Usually plans that have lower monthly prices make it up in other ways, through co-pays and annual deductibles. Lower prices each month usually mean that you’ll have higher co-pays for services you use, and deductibles (the out-of-pocket costs). This also works in reverse; when you pay more each month, co-pays and deductibles are usually minimal.

Don’t Auto-Renew

It might surprise you to know that most insurance plans will auto-renew if you don’t tell them not to. Not only do insurance plans change each year, but so do your circumstances. Once you’ve found the perfect plan, be sure to make your insurance carrier understand that you do not wish to renew. This allows you the opportunity to change your plan during the next open enrollment and shop around for the best deals. You may have been paying for a cheaper insurance one year, but need to update to a more comprehensive insurance the next year because you’re expecting a child, for example.

Be sure to take your time and do your research before getting health insurance. It can be confusing and can take time, but if you do it right you can find the best health insurance plan for you. Take the time to read and know your rights, along with your coverage.

Related Resource: 10 Great Ways to Save on Health Insurance and Health Care