Health insurance: everyone needs it and no one enjoys paying for it. But finding a health insurance policy that works for you isn’t as simple as asking around for recommendations. You have unique medical and financial needs, so take the time to find a policy that gives you the coverage you need without breaking the bank. Start the process by asking yourself these questions.
Are high deductibles high risk?
A high deductible means you have to pay a lot of money out of pocket before your insurance company will take over and pay the remainder of your bills. The reason anyone signs up for a high deductible plan in the first place is that the monthly premiums tend to cost less.
If you’re healthy all year, you save by not having to pay as much money each month. But if you do get sick or injured, you should have at least one year’s deductible sitting in an account (a Health Savings Account or HSA can also give you tax advantages) or you’re taking a large gamble with both your health and your finances.
How likely are you to need medical care?
You never know what life will throw at you, but you can make some educated guesses. Depending on your age and current level of health, you may need ongoing medical treatment or supervision.
If you have diabetes, for example, your chances of needing to go to the doctor within any given year are much higher than that of someone who has no medical complaints. Thus, be sure that not only your deductible makes sense for your financial situation, but also that your insurance plan covers treatments you may need.
How often do you currently go to the doctor?
If you’re religious about your yearly check-ups, making sure your favorite doctor accepts your health insurance provider will save you the hassle of having to find a new doctor. If you regularly see a doctor, chances are you also take a prescription medication, in which case you need to find out what your out-of-pocket expenses will be on the various plans. Changing to generic prescriptions may be a more affordable option.
Purchasing a health insurance policy for the first time can be a little intimidating with the various fee structures and insurance jargon. Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you feel confused.