The cost of medical care in the US continues to rise, and without insurance, it can be nearly impossible for you to get the care you need, whether regularly scheduled or emergency. However, medical care can be more affordable when you buy medical insurance.
While some people get insurance through their employer, others need to take out private insurance on their own. Here are XX things to consider when looking to buy health insurance.
The most important thing to establish is the type of coverage you need. Insurance is based on how many people will need it and what type of coverage you would need. For instance, some policies will cover only emergency needs while others will opt for covering a variety of needs and services. If you have an illness where you need to regularly see your doctor, then it’s wise for you to opt for a policy that provides better coverage for the things you’ll need. However, if you rarely go to the doctor other than preventative visits, you may not need an in-depth insurance policy.
Knowing your budget is also extremely important when choosing what type of insurance policy you’ll need. You’ll need to pay monthly for your insurance, so you want to be sure this is something you’ll be able to afford. Know how much you can actually pay every month, and then customize your policy to fall within that price range.
Aside from the monthly cost, you want to be sure you pay attention to the deductible on the insurance policy. You need to meet your deductible before your insurance policy will start to pay for your medical coverage, so if you have a very high deductible and rarely go to the doctor, you’ll not only need to pay for the monthly fee, but also for the bills that come from your doctor. However, if you have a high deductible but go to the doctor often (or will be having an expensive surgery), then your insurance policy will start paying for your bills sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, not every doctor accepts all insurance providers, which means you need to choose one that is accepted by the doctors you want to visit. Before you start searching, you should find out what type of insurance is accepted by your current doctors, and then use this to help make your decision. You may also be able to compare different policies by one provider. For instance, if you’re opting for Blue Cross Blue Shield, you could compare the differences between an HMO or a PPO, as well as other plans they may offer. Doing this allows you to still maintain coverage at your current doctors as well as find the plan that best suits your budget.
Dental and Vision
Aside from your overall medical insurance, you should look for a plan that also provides you with dental and vision insurance. These policies will cost you extra, but all dentists accept dental insurance as a way to ensure they get paid for their practice. Plus, a lot of dental insurance will cover 100% of your regular dental visits, which could cost you hundreds of dollars without insurance. For instance, Dr. Zhou in Ellicott City, MD states, “We know that especially in today’s economy, budget concerns are a very real part of most of our patients’ lives. At Peartree Dental Care, we do everything in our power to remove financial barriers and help our patients afford the quality dental care they need when they need it.”
If you already have a dentist you see regularly, be sure to look for an insurance provider they accept so you don’t have to find another dentist. Also, do the same for vision insurance, as having this could save you hundreds of dollars on glasses, contacts, and your overall visits.
Your healthcare insurance is also beneficial for your medications, so be sure to consider what it will do to the cost of those you take on a regular basis. For instance, some insurance providers will only pay for the generic version of medication. While this is acceptable for some people, it may not be acceptable for all. Talk with the insurance carriers about your specific medicine and find out if these will be covered or not.
Sometimes the healthcare coverage you have simply isn’t enough, which means you’ll want to consider taking out supplemental insurance. This is also an option if both you and your spouse have access to health insurance through your employer. Doing this can be an additional cost every month, but it can also mean you don’t have any out of pocket expenses on your healthcare bills, as one insurance provider will likely cover what the primary insurance provider didn’t cover. When reviewing health insurance plans, be sure to consider whether or not you would benefit from having supplemental health insurance.
Buying health insurance can be a time-consuming process, but the benefits it provides outweighs the headache you endure while deciding.