When considering the ever changing landscape of health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), choosing the right health insurance plan annually takes time and effort. A primary goal of the ACA was to simplify the decision-making process. Sadly, this was not truly accomplished for everyone. Whether you are looking for health insurance for yourself or your family or your employees (in case you are a business owner), getting confused is certainly a possible outcome.
Here are a few items to keep in mind before buying any health insurance plan.
Consider working with a health insurance agent and expert
Agents understand the nuances of the health plans they represent. Not only can we help understand the product, we will most likely save you the time and stress to pinpoint a final decision. Best of all, there’s very a good chance we can save you hard earned income with lower premiums.
Compare types of health insurance plans
It is important to look at all the health insurance plans available in the market and compare the types of plans that would best suit your needs. Plans and products change every year. Stay up to date during each annual enrollment period, which run from November to December. We highly recommend working with a licensed professional to help you navigate through all of your choices.
Compare health plan networks
One important feature of a health plan is the size of their network. We all want options, and not to be told which doctors we must see. However, costs are comparatively much lower when you go to a doctor which is in-network because insurance companies contract lower rates with the in-network providers. These savings can be passed on to you in the form of lower co-pays or out-of-pocket medical expenses. Simply put, verify that your doctors are in network BEFORE you purchase a plan, and do your best to say in-network.
Check out-of-pocket costs
Just like the network you should also compare out-of-pocket expenses. By federal law, all plans must have a “Maximum Out of Pocket.” This is your worst case cost scenario in any given year. All plan benefit summaries clearly lay out how much this annual cost will be to you and your family. Again, a licensed professional agent will explain all of this to you. State and federal Marketplace websites can also give you a cost overview.
Check Exceptions & Exclusions
There are always exceptions and exclusions in all health insurance plans. No one plan “covers everything.” Find more information on such exceptions from the insurance company benefit summaries.
Compare the benefits
Benefits vary with the each product and company. You are going to need to spend time understanding two or three products to make the best decision for you and your family.
One of the easiest ways to compare plan options is to speak with a licensed insurance agent. He or she will help you ask and answer all of the necessary questions for you and your family. Here’s a helpful tip: write down the most important healthcare factors to you.
Some of the questions and issues for you may include:
● You take a certain list of medications. How is that covered under the plan? Is there any exclusion/exception.
● Does the plan include dental insurance?
● Are maternity services covered?
● What happens if you fall sick while traveling abroad?
● How do you get started signing up and what are the documents will I will need?
At Blue Goose Inc., we offer more than just health insurance. We offer trusted advice through multiple insurance products and strategies. At the end of the day you’ll be placed in a position where your family and fortunes have been securely protected.