Picking out an individual health insurance plan definitely isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and now that it’s required by law, it’s even more important to pick out the best medical insurance plan for you and your family.
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are just a few tips to help you figure out which insurance plan is best for you:
- Know your deadlines. It’s important to start looking for a health insurance plan before the annual deadline creeps up because even if you aren’t looking a state- or federal-subsidized plan, you’ll encounter slower websites and more glitches. This is because tons of other people, just like you, are trying to find the perfect plan! The annual insurance registration deadline is different each year so make sure you know what you’re up against.
- Evaluate doctors and network plans together. If you already have a primary physician or therapist you like, it’s important to look for an insurance plan that includes your preferred doctor or therapist in its network. If you don’t have any preferences for a doctor, this might not be so much of a concern to you, but it’s still a good idea to make sure that you find a network that includes plenty of local doctors.
- Choose your marketplace. This refers to the organization through which you’re getting your health insurance. Many people with private and individual health insurance plans just get the policies through their employers, but for those without an employer-provided plan, there are state and federal insurance plans available. Medicare insurance is also a good option for anyone who needs a plan suitable for low-income homes.
- Try to predict what your medical costs might be. While it’s impossible to know exactly what this number will be each year, you can usually get a vague idea about whether you’ll be paying for multiple prescriptions, pediatric doctor visits, having a baby, or undergoing a planned surgery. Every plan differs with how much coverage is provided for each of these things, so it’s important to look at what you might be facing in the coming year as you evaluate plans and networks.
So now we want to hear from you — if you’ve purchased individual health insurance before, what tips would you give to someone else who’s shopping around for a new plan? Feel free to share any ideas or tips with us!