Universal healthcare is a basic necessity that a country should provide to its residents. Unfortunately, this is not the case when considering the US, which is what makes having a solid health insurance policy all the more important. The last thing you need during a medical emergency is to have to worry about where the money to pay those massive bills off would come from!
The worrying fact is that about 30% of Americans reported having problems paying for their health insurance package while a whole bunch of others admit to having no insurance at all. Getting sick is an inconvenience to most people, but for Americans, it can be a downright nightmare!
However, picking the right insurance provider and the right healthcare plan for yourself can be a little tricky. Picking the right insurance could be the difference between saving thousands of dollars and staying in good health versus ending up in debt and poor health – both physical and mental.
We’re here to help you make the best choice so you don’t have to face such issues. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before choosing a health insurance provider for yourself:
How Wide is the Insurance Provider’s Network?
This is one of the most important things to consider when picking a health insurance provider. If you’re someone who is particular about which hospitals or doctors you like to patronize, don’t expect all insurance plans to come with the same amount of coverage Basically, you can’t just show up to your doctor’s office and expect a discounted charge just because you have health insurance!
Consider the fact that you may have to either switch doctors or pay more so you can stay on with the ones you are familiar with. Which is more important to you?
What shouldn’t be negotiable is that whatever plan you choose should have coverage of hospitals and doctors that are close to your residence. You don’t want to be driving miles and miles to find a hospital in case of a medical emergency!
What is Your Our-Of-Pocket Spending Limit?
One would expect that having medical insurance would mean not having to worry about out-of-pocket expenses, but that is unfortunately not the case. All insurance plans come with deductibles and copayments, which are expenses that you will have to factor in beyond the scope of what the insurance provider agrees to cover.
However, different providers and/or plans come with different amounts of deductibles. As one would assume, the lower that the deductible is, the better it is for you as you don’t have to worry about unexpected illness or injuries that could cost you thousands. But you also have to think about coinsurance costs, which you will have to keep paying even after your deductibles are done. Once all the coinsurance costs have been paid off, your insurance will kick in and cover all your healthcare costs, but you have to be aware of how much you are willing to pay out-of-pocket before signing on to a healthcare provider.
Is Employer-Provided Insurance Really the Best?
Your employer may give you the option to opt-in for company-provided health insurance when you join a new job. If the insurance is funded by the firm or given to you at a reduced cost, it’s definitely a good idea to consider signing on. However, you should be aware that it’s very possible that you’re going to have to pay a large portion of your healthcare package and that the coverage isn’t as extensive as you would have liked.
In such a case, it’s not wrong to say “no thanks” to your employer and shop for health insurance yourself. If you’re young and in good health, you can snag a health insurance plan at a lower cost instead of having to pay extra in a group package which would be more beneficial to those who are experiencing health issues.
Chances are that there are a number of health insurance providers in your area that you could choose from, and they’re not all made equal. Make sure to check out all the options (and deals) that everyone is offering so you can pick the best one that suits your needs specifically. Don’t just jump at the first one you see!