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Points To Be Considered When Choosing a Health Plan

Points To Be Considered When Choosing a Health Plan

When you are going for a health plan, you will need to consider all the benefits that are on offer, and the ones that are relevant to you. In deciding a plan that is just right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you need a comprehensive plan that covers all health services?

The cost that you have to bear when you are paying for health care services, will decide the monthly premiums you pay to a large extent. The more you pay on monthly premiums, the less you will be a risk to the company. The deductibles you pay will also determine the monthly premiums you are paying. A deductible level has to be reached before the company starts paying you for your treatment. The higher your level of deductibles, the less the company risks in paying for your claims. The lower this risk borne by the company, the less you pay in premiums.

Are limited choices in hospitals and doctors acceptable to you?

Your location is very important in answering this question. Your choice may already be limited, if you are staying in a rural area. Even if you do, the hospitals and doctors in your area may be under contract with a particular health insurance company. The health plan you go for will determine the type of access you have to doctors and hospitals of your choice. The plan will also determine the type of medical treatment you can go for.

Are you okay with the idea of you primary care doctor referring you to specialists?

This is applicable to an HMO plan, if it is available in your area. The most important part of you choice of an HMO plan depends on the confidence you have on the primary care physician and his team of doctors. Just make sure that the primary care physician puts you in a hospital of your choice when you need hospital care.

How important are the costs of the plan I am buying?

You may be willing to pay for the less costly of the medical procedures, like regular health screenings etc. If you are going to the doctor only once a year, it will make no sense to pay an additional $60 every month for this benefit. The best way out is to have a frank talk with your physician. Ask him what the typical costs are for standard office visits. Evaluate this against the cost of the benefit you are buying.

What is the amount you can afford as monthly premiums?

The concept of affordability as regards the health insurance plans may vary from person to person. The rising costs of health insurance in the country are forcing a large chunk of the middle class to simply go without health insurance. A better way to judge it would be to try and find out how much you will be saving on health costs if you have insurance in place.

Are you in the process of undergoing life changes?

Your health insurance is something you have to live with for a long time. For this reason, it is always better to consider whether any additional needs might come up in the next few years. For instance, are you planning to get married or have kids soon? If so, you might need to consider a plan that includes maternity benefits for your partner. Remember, if you are going for a new plan, you will have to go through a new set of medical eligibilities altogether. Any changes in your health profile, and you might find it very difficult to go for a new plan altogether.

Are you likely to have chronic disabilities or health conditions in the future?

This is another important consideration you have to make. For instance, do your genetics or lifestyle place you at risk for specific diseases? If yes, then you need to consider a plan that will provide you with adequate benefits.

Will I relocate to a different state?

If relocating is a possibility, with your job or otherwise, you would have to consider plans that are portable. While some companies are quite lenient with the plans they sell, some are not. For instance, HMO plans are not portable as a rule. So, if relocation is a possibility with you, you might want to consider a PPO or indemnity type of coverage.

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