Part 1 of a 3 part series
Selecting a health care plan is not something the average person likes to do, nor is comfortable doing. It is confusing, and can be overwhelming. Tips are listed below to help you select the best policy, at the lowest price, which meets your current needs.
1. Monthly Plan Cost
2. Plan Benefits Provided versus Monthly Plan Cost
3. Coverage Needs
Obviously, if you are shopping for health insurance rather than covered under an employer sponsored health plan, one of two scenarios come into play:
Scenario # 1: Finances could be severly strained due to (1) a recent job loss, and/or (2) loss of your health insurance coverage. Or, you may have recently started a new business or your existing business may be struggling in this difficult economy
Scenario #2: You are financially secure, self employed and your business is providing adequate income for your health insurance needs.
Scenario #1 above will undoubtedly dictate that you assume a significant amount of financial risk through high deductible plans and high out of pocket expense limits. This isn’t a comfortable situation and it also means that you will pay for most office visits and prescriptions out of pocket without any insurance benefits kicking in, as these expenses may well fall below your annual deductible.
A suggested alternative here to consider is purchasing a hospital benefit policy, which provides coverage for inpatient and outpatient services. This will help to keep your premium expense as low as possible, yet can provide a significant amount of coverage in the event of a catastrophic illness.
The point is to provide a safety net while keeping your monthly expenses manageable during tough financial times. Some type of protection is needed to prevent bankruptcy, and other financially devastating consequences until your financial situation improves.
Scenario #2 allows you to take into consideration the typical usage of health coverage for your family members, the preferred doctors and hospitals, and chose a comprehensive benefit plan that is affordable, yet provides extensive coverage for any type of medical services that you may require.