When it comes to picking a health insurance plan for your family, you may be faced with a lot of different options. For most, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming, making choosing a plan much more difficult than it needs to be. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple tips, choosing a plan is made much easier.
Contact You Physician
Although this should be at the top of everyone’s list when shopping for health insurance, it is often the first thing that gets overlooked. If you have a doctor that you’re happy with and have no intentions of looking for another one, the best thing you can do is call their office to find out if they accept the insurance you’re looking at. This can be especially helpful if there are more than one plans that you’re trying to choose from.
Compare the Types of Plans Available
This is where most people get the most confused when shopping for a health insurance plan. You’re going to encounter a whole bunch of acronyms that you’d never see anywhere else. Some of the most common include HMO, PPO and POS. Most people are never quite sure what they mean, but they play a big role in how much you’ll pay out of pocket when you go to the doctor.
To make things easier for you, go to the plans you are considering and look for a benefit summary. The summary will show you how much the plan costs and which doctors participate.
Consider the Tax Benefits
While the cost of health insurance seems high on the surface, the tax credits that are available to buyers can go a long way to making them more affordable. In 2016, 85 percent of people who paid for a non-employer provided health insurance plan qualified for a tax credit. These credits averaged out to $272 each month.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Even after doing as much research as possible, many people are still confused as to what type of insurance would be best for them. If you are choosing a health insurance plan through your employer, meet with human resources so they can explain the benefits to you. If you are purchasing a plan on your own, consider contacting the insurance companies directly or get in touch with a local insurance agent who is willing to sit down and help you choose the best plan for you.
If confusion is preventing you from getting the ball rolling on your health insurance plan, try to relax and take a deep breath. Write down what’s important to you and make some calls. Before you know it, you’ll be the expert giving advice to your friends and family.