How to choose the best health insurance coverage plan?
The task of choosing a suitable plan makes many people confused. You need to follow the right method of approach to make the best decision. More and more people prefer to purchase health insurance individually nowadays rather than opting for employer-purchased health insurance.
Today you can find many different types of individual plans. It is necessary to assess the pros and cons of different plans to make an informed decision.
Here are 6 easy tips for picking the best health insurance plan:
Learn when to buy a health insurance plan
You could have purchased an individual health plan at any time of the year before 2014. The healthcare reforms in 2014 restrict the period of buying an individual insurance plan. You can purchase a plan only during the open enrollment period except for some special circumstances.
Generally speaking, the open enrollment period in most states is between 1 November and 15 December. Some states have extended the time limit up to 31 January. To buy a health plan out of the enrollment period, you need to have a qualifying life event such as getting married, moving, having a baby, adopting a child, leaving incarceration and loss of other health coverage due to job loss or divorce.
Learn about different types of plans
You must learn about different types of plans if you want to choose the best healthcare insurance coverage plan. Although all plans have to cover some specific benefits, insurance plans vary in terms of structure and the healthcare expenses paid. Health plans in the Affordable Care Act are classified into four different types, namely bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
This categorization is based on the healthcare cost percentages the plans pay and the part you pay out of the pocket. Bronze and silver stand taller in terms of popularity. Various market studies reveal that the most common type of plan design available in the individual health insurance market is the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. The HMO plans account for 56% of the total individual plans.
Gather accurate information on insurance health plans
There were marked differences between individual plans in terms of what they covered before the health care reforms were introduced in 2014. Insurers had the right to deny your application for insurance without a valid reason. If the applicant had a health condition, the insurance provider could increase the premium as well. This is not the situation anymore.
As of 2014, insurance companies have to cover you irrespective of your health history. Moreover, they cannot increase your premium because of any medical condition. All types of individual health plans should cover a standard set of benefits that protect the rights of customers efficiently.
Compare and evaluate different plans to customize the right one based on your needs
When it comes to choosing the best health insurance option, you need to compare different plans. It is necessary to find out how different plans are structured. You have to decide whether you are interested in paying upfront premiums or more out of the pocket costs. If you can figure out this thing, you can choose a health insurance plan with more confidence.
It is also important to check the plan network to discover who is in the network and what is covered. Best plans have a good selection of specialists, doctors, and hospitals. You should also find out whether the prescription drugs you take are incorporated into the plan.
Search hard and explore premium tax credits choices
You can make individual health insurance extremely cost-effective with the help of premium tax credits. It has been estimated that around 85% of the people with marketplace insurance coverage are eligible for a tax credit.
You qualify for a tax credit if your earnings drop between specific income limits and you are not receiving any coverage through a government program or an employer. Exploring the possibilities of premium tax credits makes your health insurance affordable.
Create a better idea about the vital aspects that make an impact on the cost
The cost of a health insurance coverage plan is impacted by the carrier you select and your eligibility for premium tax credits. The other four important factors also influence the cost and they include your location, age, family members and use of tobacco.
If you gather information on all these aspects, you can take an informed decision that safeguards your interests.