How to choose the best health insurance plan?
How to Pick a Health Plan in 15 Minutes or Less
Health insurance is complicated. According to a study of one Fortune 100 company, roughly 80% of workers chose health plans that cost more over the course of the year than their alternatives would have. But how do you make the right choice? Here's the easy way to evaluate your options, even if you're short on time.
1. Call your doctor (4 minutes)
The first thing to do is to ensure that your doctor accepts your new insurance plan. This is crucial, and here's why: By directing plan participants to a limited group of hospitals and doctors, insurers can negotiate discounted rates on everyone's care, the same way Costco can buy in bulk and offer members discounts. These health care providers make up your insurer's so-called network.
2. Estimate your health care needs (4 minutes)
Before you choose the best insurance plan, you need an idea of what your typical health care costs are. You should be able to find a list of your medical claims on your current insurer's website. But here's a quicker way to benchmark your spending. Just answer these two questions:
3. Weigh risk vs. reward (7 minutes)
Do this simple equation to compare plans: Multiply each plan’s monthly premium by 12, then add the out-of-pocket maximum, says Katy Votava, founder of health insurance consulting firm Goodcare. That’s how much you could pay in total if you suffered a medical crisis this year. “We forget what insurance is," Votava says. "It’s to protect against catastrophe.”
What is a marketplace insurance plan?
Health Insurance Marketplace. A service that helps people shop for and enroll in affordable health insurance. ... Premium tax credits and other savings that make insurance more affordable. Coverage through the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state.
What is catastrophic coverage?
Catastrophic plans have low monthly payments but a high deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay for health care services before your insurance starts to pay. Once you meet your deductible, our Blue Cross® Value (catastrophic) plans pay 100 percent for most services.
How do you get health insurance?
Don't qualify for savings? Three other ways to buy a health plan
Directly from an insurance company. You can contact any health insurance company and see plans available in your area. ...
Through an insurance agent or broker. ...
From an online health insurance seller.
What insurance is Obamacare?
Obamacare – also known as the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA – is a law enacted to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance.
What is a health insurance plan?
Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers the cost of an insured individual's medical and surgical expenses. Depending on the type of health insurance coverage, either the insured pays costs out-of-pocket and is then reimbursed, or the insurer makes payments directly to the provider.
Why do we need health insurance?
No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and offers many other important benefits. Health insurance protects you from unexpected, high medical costs. You pay less for covered in-network health care, even before you meet your deductible.
How do you apply for health insurance?
There are 4 ways to apply for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace:
Apply online. Visit this page and select your state to get started.
Apply by phone. Call 1-800-318-2596 to apply for a health insurance plan and enroll over the phone. ...
Apply in person. ...
Apply by mail.
What are the different types of health insurance?
Each insurance brand may offer one or more of these four common types of plans:
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
Preferred provider organizations (PPOs)
Exclusive provider organizations (EPOs)
Point-of-service (POS) plans.
High-deductible health plans (HDHPs), which may be linked to health savings accounts (HSAs)