How to Pick Right Health Insurance Company?
Choosing the right health insurance isn’t always easy. With so many technical terms, payment options, and plan requirements, how do you know what’s the best fit for you and your family? Everyone wants to be informed about their own health, but that’s sometimes easier said than done.
In the United States, health insurance is notoriously complicated. So complicated, in fact, that many people choose to not to have coverage at all, either because they can’t find the right plan or because they believe it’s unaffordable. In 2017 for instance, over 8% of U.S. citizens had no form of coverage all year long. That’s a lot of people who didn’t have any form of coverage.
While we can all agree that health care should be easier to understand, we can also agree that health insurance is necessary. Even if you’re in good health, you never know what’s right around the corner. You could find yourself with an expensive emergency, and you don’t want to take that risk. Here’s how to pick the right health insurance company.
1. Start with Your Employer
Your first way to find insurance is through your employer. If your employer has over 50 full-time employees, it’s required to offer some form of insurance through the employer mandate. Each year, your employer will offer an opportunity to sign up for an insurance plan during the enrollment period.
This is likely the most affordable option to get coverage since your employer will cover a percentage of the cost. You also won’t need to worry about paying out-of-pocket for monthly premiums since your portion of the payment will be taken from your paycheck in most cases. If your employer does not offer insurance plans or if you’re unemployed, continue to the steps below for more options.
2. Visit Your Digital Marketplace
The next step if you’re unable to get insurance through your employer is to visit your online health insurance marketplace. This is where you find the plans available in your area, from private insurance plans to coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Depending on your income and situation, you might qualify for reduced-cost health insurance.
To choose the most affordable health insurance company, you’ll want to start your search here. It might take a little bit of searching, but you’ll quickly discover you have a lot of options for finding the right plan for yourself and your dependents.
3. Understand the Plan Types
One of the most confusing aspects of health insurance is understanding the different types of plans. Once you know what the different terms mean, you’re in a better place to make a smart decision. Here’s a breakdown of the most common plan types and the type of coverage you can expect from each:
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – With a PPO, you’re not required to stay in-network, though you’ll save money if you do. You also don’t need a referral to seek any specialized care. This is a good choice for those who need options with their providers.
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – An HMO will require you to see in-network providers except in the case of emergencies. You’ll need a referral for specialized care, but you’ll also have lower out-of-pocket costs and premiums.
- Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) – With this type of plan, you’ll need to see an exclusive provider except for emergencies. However, you don’t need any referrals for specialized care. This is a good combination of the two above options with lowered costs.
- Point of Service Plan (POS) – Finally, with a POS plan you don’t have to stay in-network for coverage, but you’ll save money if you do. You still will need a referral for outside care, but you’ll have more provider options.
These plans outlined above will most likely be your options when finding an insurance provider. Consider how frequently you need medical care and whether you already have your own doctor you’d like to keep seeing.
This is how you’ll choose the best health insurance company for your needs. It all starts with educating yourself about your options, whether you find a provider through your employer or the healthcare marketplace. These tips above will put you on the right track for long-term health.