Choosing a health insurance policy can be confusing. Here are a few tips to make this decision easier and more efficient.
Factors to Consider
Having a health insurance policy is key to having access to high-quality services, but choosing one can be complicated and intimidating. What determines which policy is the best for you is your budget, location, and lifestyle, and age.
If you are a person that travels a lot, you should revise how many states the company’s physicians’ network is present. After that, check the insurer’s customer reviews, claim services, coverage, and loyalty benefits.
PPO versus HMO
One of the biggest decisions to make is whether to choose a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan.
The HMO is the option that costs less, with lower annual premiums but higher deductibles. It is recommended for people with good health in general. With this plan, it is mandatory to go to a family doctor, internist or pediatrician who then refers the patient to a specialist, if necessary.
With the HMO policy, the insured may only go to the specialists included in the company’s network of physicians to get low costs or free consultations.
The PPO plans offer a broader range of options. The insured can go directly to a specific physician without seeing a general physician first. Though it costs more than an HMO plan, it is recommended for people who have enough in their budget to pay extra, especially if they travel a lot and could need specialized medical help outside their home town or state. Also, with a PPO plan, the insured can go to a physician outside the company’s network and later ask for a refund.
Which health insurance is best for you?
There are several options in the market. From the most basic ones including only hospitalizations, emergency services, annual doctor visits, and ambulance, to those which also include vaccinations, preventive care, laboratory tests, x-rays, prenatal care, dental care and discounts for special treatments like smoking cessation programs, weight loss programs, hearing and vision devices.
The website thebalance.com lists “The 8 Best Health Insurance Companies of 2020” and gives some reviews about this year’s offers.
Before selecting the type of policy and its coverage, consider your age. Some plans cannot be renewed if the person is over 65 years old, but others can be extended until the person is 100 years old.
Last, but not least, learn about online services. Several companies offer online policies that allow the insured to set doctor appointments, order prescriptions, consult for nurse assistance online, estimate costs, and make claims to the company via internet.
It is very important to consider these options before starting to look for health insurance plans. To cut costs on the premium without losing coverage, you can select a higher annual deductible or a co-payment plan. Working with a knowledgeable insurance agent can make this process even easier.