How to Choose Affordable Health Insurance Plans
Having reliable health insurance you can fall back on in times of illness or injury is vitally important.
The biggest challenge many people face when it comes to health insurance is the cost.
In some cases, businesses offer their employees and their families an affordable health insurance plan, but it isn’t a guarantee.
Even if you have insurance from your workplace, you may feel compelled to purchase an insurance plan of your own, or you may be forced to if one isn’t provided by your employer. Also, self-employed workers must pony up for their own health insurance.
So, how do you know which health insurance plan is right for you?
First, determine what you can afford “out of pocket.” Considering affordable insurance involes two main concerns:
- The amount of monthly premiums you can afford
- The amount of the deductible you can afford
Will Higher Monthly Premiums Will Work For You?
Plans with higher monthly premiums are usually geared towards people who have consistent needs on a monthly basis.
For instance, if you’re married with children and have been with the same employer for a number of years, you may benefit from a health insurance plan with higher monthly premiums but more coverage options.
The benefit of choosing plans with higher monthly premiums is that you reduce the amount of your annual deductible, thereby reducing the burden of funding a higher lump sum payment in the event of a significant illness.
Annual Deductibles May Be the Answer
On the other hand, some may feel more comfortable with insurance plans that have higher deductibles, but lower monthly premiums. Deductibles are initial payments required by insurance companies prior to paying out claims to members.
This is the preferred payment option for people who don’t have the monthly income to support plans with higher premiums. If you’re in good health and rarely visit a doctor, health insurance protects you from financial catastrophe in the event of an illness, but saves you money the rest of the time. It’s wise to keep an emergency fund available for expenses until you can meet your deductible.
Lower deductible plans also allow more flexibility throughout the year for doctor visits, routine tests, and even surgeries and lab tests.
Two Other Points to Consider
1. Find a good coverage plan. Whichever type of plan you choose, choose good coverage for yourself and your family. In the event of a emergencies or other medical needs, a plan that offers good coverage will allow your insurance company to absorb most or all of your medical expenses.
2. Opt for coinsurance. The other consideration is a coinsurance plan, which typically requires an insurance company to pay 80% of your medical fees, leaving only 20% remaining as your responsibility. This is a feature of plans with either higher deductibles or higher monthly premiums, but it’s worth the extra expense.
Search Online for Resources
There are a number of quality online resources available to help evaluate and compare affordable health insurance plans. Use the internet whenever possible to find websites that compare services from different health insurance companies.
These types of side-by-side comparisons will help you determine plan you can afford that are well-suited to your earnings and budget.
Health insurance is a personal benefit you should never assume you can’t afford. Many health insurance plans are available for all types of incomes, and spending some time looking at options will help you choose one that’s right for you and your budget.