Buying health insurance isn’t easy, that’s for sure! With so many lucrative options available, it becomes extremely difficult to decide which package will prove to be the most beneficial for you and your family.
Get The Basics Down
To begin with, you must answer the following questions before considering to buy a health insurance plan.
- Who gets coverage? Is it just you or your family as well?
- What’s your current health status? What sort of a plan do you need?
- Do you already have a permanent doctor you trust?
- What’s your budget and how much are you willing to spend?
- Do you require a subsidy or any financial assistance from the government?
7 Imperatives Before You Buy Health Insurance
Now that you’re thinking on the lines of buying an affordable and viable health insurance plan, here’s what you need to know before you actually make the purchase.
- Remember To Register On Time
When buying health insurance on your own, always keep in mind the enrollment window. Many new plans and offers are also made around this period, so be sure to take advantage! Once you miss the deadline, you cannot register again for the rest of the year, unless a major event takes place, such as the birth of a baby or loss of a job.
- Conduct Proper Research
Health insurance is a serious matter; it literally concerns the well-being of your family and yourself. Don’t make any decision in haste. Research various plans for their quality, ranking, offers, sustainability etc. and make an educated and comprehensive decision. Different online platforms provide such information as well, and every health insurance agency has their own website, such as Medicare.gov.
- Avoid The Option To ‘Auto-Renew’
Most health insurance automatically renew after a set period – this isn’t recommended. It’s advisable to check all your existing and future options before renewing your insurance, since plans vary every year along with your circumstances. You might require additional health care that doesn’t comply with the existing insurance policy or drug formulary.
Moreover, for marketplace plans, if you’re dependent on a premium subsidiary, your costs may change considerably unless your update and review your income information. So, avoid the any possible confusion and don’t opt for this option.
- Dump Pre-Affordable Care Act Plans
Here’s a rather complicated scenario: a guy buys health insurance on his own before the new health laws came into effect. Then his wife gets pregnant and his existing insurance policy doesn’t provide maternity benefits. He now wants to opt for a policy that covers maternity, which all current policies do.
So, what can the guy do now? Sadly, nothing. He’ll have to wait until the enrollment window opens again in November. Thus, if you’ve opted for a pre-affordable care act plan, make sure you understand the limitations and plan accordingly.
- Don’t Accept The Option Of Automatic Replacement
For certain insurance plans that are being discontinued, the government offers insurers to auto-enroll in a replacement plan. This isn’t always a viable option. It’s better to check your marketplace and assess whether you can get a better and more appropriate deal before accepting the option of automatic replacement.
- Check Out The Plan’s Website
Registering on your health insurance plan’s website and estimating costs can prove to be very helpful in certain situations. It’s obviously not applicable for emergencies or catastrophic events, such as a heart attack or fatal diseases, but for routine services, like an MRI, or childbirth, such an option can make all the difference. Moreover, comparing and contrasting costs can help you assess whether you’ve made the right decision.
- Go Through Each Plan Carefully
Last, but not the least, is to understand that each health insurance plan is designed differently. Before, and even after, registering for a plan, take a few minutes with its standard summary of benefits and coverage. This will help you understand the basic operatives and options of the plan. It is boring, but it sure is worth the effort.