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Choosing Health Insurance

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Choosing health insurance that you are satisfied with involves knowing what you want and comparing plans. Costs, benefits and health care flexibility are common concerns. But you should also consider other features.

The easiest and least time consuming way to compare major medical products is via an online choosing health insuranceplatform of a health insurance exchange or other source. With a few clicks of a mouse and strokes of a keyboard most of the information for comparing products before choosing a plan can be obtained in a short period of time.

The process is not only fast and efficient. It is also a learning experience. With the correct entry of your zip code, age, smoking status, desired insurance type and desired features it is possible to obtain instant information including the monthly premium, deductible, copayment, coinsurance and other details of compared plans.

With all ACA health plans now required to provide essential health benefits, there are not that many other features to compare.  Some optional ones to consider though are:

  • chiropractic treatment
  • skilled care and nursing home services
  • home health services
  • durable medical equipment
  • dental care
  • vision services
  • hospice services

You can best compare healthcare flexibility by first deciding which of the basic types of health insurance is most likely to suit your needs. Then compare plans within that type. It is important to know the basic differences between PPO, HMO, POS and EPO plans. It is also important to realize that flexibility is greater for PPO versus HMO plans and even greater for POS plans compared to HMO and PPO ones.

It is practical to choose plans to compare by sorting them based on various features. Depending on the online platform, the sorting might be on the basis of:

  • insurance company name
  • insurance type
  • metal level
  • savings account eligibility
  • monthly premium
  • deductible
  • coinsurance
  • additional benefits such as dental coverage

With the platform of the health insurance exchange and some of the other online platforms you can then view the features of the various insurance products you have researched in columns side-by-side. This ensures that the comparisons are accurate and efficient.

In comparing managed care products it is important to determine if a physician or facility you prefer is a network provider. The same applies even if the plan is a POS if you do not intend to utilize out-of-network benefits. You should be able to find out the providers in a particular plan by clicking on a provider directory link for the product you are evaluating. If you cannot find a provider directory link for a plan of interest go directly to the website of the insurer offering the plan and look for it there.

Carefully deciding which plans to compare, then methodically comparing allows you to make an informed decision in choosing your health insurance. It also increases your knowledge of health insurance in general. Additionally, it gives you the peace of mind that you have made a decision in your best interest.

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