If you are relatively new to picking out and paying for your own health insurance, you may wonder what factors are most important to consider when deciding on a plan. For example, between the deductible, premium, and out-of-pocket maximum, which matters most? How can you check to see if your current physicians are covered? In an effort to help you pick the plan that will best meet your needs, here are a few tips on how to get started making this important decision.
Look At Last Year's Expenses
Trying to estimate your medical expenses can be challenging, though looking back through your last year's expenses can help you to better quantify them. For example, look through your records to see how often you actually went to the doctor. How much did your prescriptions cost? Did you meet your deductible? If you do not have any new challenges or you have not been diagnosed with anything new, your past expenses may be a good indicator of what the next year's needs will be.
Consider Cash Flow
Once you have gone over your past finances, you should look forward. Have you had any recent increases in income or decreases in expenditures? If not, you should consider the premium amount you paid last year. If it didn't feel overwhelming in the past, you should pick insurance with a premium that has a similar amount. This will help you to make sure you are not overcommitting on the monthly payment.
Do the Work
Going on each company's website and putting in some basic information to see if your physicians are covered may save you a headache in the long run. It can be a little strenuous to spend the time going to each website, but that small act can help you to be more sure about your decision when it is made. A visit to the website can help you to know which physicians and prescriptions are covered and how much your copayment may be.
In conclusion, it can be a long process to figure out which plan will work best for you, but if it sets you up for a successful year where you are covered appropriately, it will all have been worth it. If you feel like you need some help with picking a plan, you could talk to your employer's HR department or agents from specific insurance agencies like Optimized Health Plans. Good luck making your decision!