How to Choose a Health Insurance Policy
With the rising cost of medical treatments these days, health insurance is necessary for just about everyone. However, policies can differ radically in terms of cost, coverage and features, it’s crucial that you go through your options carefully before making a choice. There are also different plan providers that increase your choices even more. Of course, as long as you put in some time and effort doing your homework, it can become easier.
Health insurance policies come in several basic types, and the following are the most well-known:
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
An HMO policy only allows you to use healthcare providers within the network. Should you have to see a specialist, you’ll need to get a referral from your primary care doctor.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
Like HMOs, PPOs also work with networks, but you will not be restricted to their health care providers, and you can also see a specialist without having to secure a referral.
Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)
EPOs are a cross between HMOs and PPOs. You have to use in-network providers, but there’s no need to get a referral when you need a specialist.
Point of Service (POS)
The reverse of EPO plans are known as PPO plans, which are also the least popular of all. A referral is required for an appointment with a specialist, but you can see any doctor outside the network.
High Deductible versus Low Deductible Policies
In general, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premiums will be. Your deductible is the amount of healthcare expenses that you have to cover out-of-pocket before coverage takes over. If your average health expenses each year are relatively low, a high-deductible plan will be an advantage. Otherwise, a low-deductible policy should be smarter to get.
How to Compare Coverage
Network and policy regulaions are the two most crucial factors that ultimately determine whether a plan is right for you or not. Even if you choose a plan that allows you to use out-of-network providers, you’ll still be better off going in-network because that will reduce your costs. And the rules that a plan has in terms of what’s covered or not – and how much your copays will be – can also make a big impact on how useful a certain policy is for you.
Choosing the Best
Can’t decide between two policies that both seem to be the best deal for you? Just multiply each plan’s monthly premium by 12 to know annual cost. Then add in your maximum out-of-pocket.
What you get is what you’ll likely spend for healthcare if you had at least one substantial medical expense in a year’s time Of course, you should go with the policy with the lower total.