When it comes to purchasing health insurance there are a few things that consumers should be aware of before beginning the process. Consider the following tips when switching coverage or buying health insurance for the first time.
1. Do compare health insurance quotes. There is no one-size-fits-all health insurance plan so find a plan that fits your budget and health care needs.
2. Don’t purchase a policy with the highest deductible and lowest premiums. The lowest monthly payments may be tempting but if there is a serious illness or injury – meeting a really high deductible can be tough.
3. Do find a plan that has a deductible that you can meet and pair it with a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs will allow you to save tax-free funds for health care expenses and can be used to pay the deductible.
4. Do look for a health insurance plan that includes your preferred doctors and hospitals.
5. Don’t buy a plan with a restricted network of health care providers if you prefer flexibility, travel a lot or have children away at school.
6. Do consider copayment rates and co-insurance rates for doctor visits, surgeries and prescriptions. Co-insurance rates can get expensive for brand name or specialty prescriptions and hospital services.
7. Do look for plans that include dental and vision coverage. Also couples or women who plan on getting pregnant should make sure maternity benefits are covered.
8. Do compare health insurance companies before deciding on one plan. Some companies may offer a mobile application, ability to make online payments, provide benefits for healthy behaviors or coverage for gym memberships.
9. Don’t buy a plan without talking to a licensed agent. A licensed agent will help you make decisions or inform you of benefits you may need.
10. Don’t buy a health insurance policy at the last minute. If you need a policy in the future, give yourself a couple months to be approved for coverage. Once you apply there is an underwriting process that can take a while depending on the health insurance carrier.