Finding health insurance was never a simple task, and the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hasn’t helped matters. To make it easier, we wrote this simple guide to help you select a plan that works well for your needs and budget.
Monthly PremiumsCost is the most obvious factor in your decision. If you’re young and don’t have any medical conditions, you may want to consider a policy with a high deductible that will allow you to spend less each month. Requesting quotes from several different insurers is a good way to compare premiums, so you don’t overpay for coverage.
Out-of-Pocket CostsWhen considering the costs of a plan, make sure to check the out-of-pocket fees that plans require you pay. These are usually flat fees, called co-pays, or coinsurance, which is a percentage of cost for a medical service.
Provider NetworkIf you would like to continue seeing your current doctors, verify that they are in the provider network of your new plan. Most insurance companies cover less (or none) of the cost of doctor visits outside of your network. A directory of the in-network physicians is often posted on the insurer’s website.
Level of CoverageUnder the ACA, insurance providers are required to cover the following basic services: emergency services, hospitalization, maternity care, mental health services, prescription drugs, laboratory services, preventive services, and pediatric care, among others. Some plans offer more coverage, but may be more expensive. Deciding what level of coverage you want will help determine how much you should pay for your policy.