Written by Ben Laverdiere
When thinking of health insurance – whether it’s because of logistics, details, or cost – many people begin to feel a little sick. Well, you won’t need to use your benefits to remedy that feeling – use these three tips instead!
One of the main reasons people don’t feel good about health insurance is because it is a complicated space and it’s hard to find the right information to make an educated decision about coverage. Most individuals don’t know every detail about their medical coverage, and the truth is, needs vary from person to person with different health needs.
Whether you have coverage through your employer, an independent broker, or a state-affiliated agency, you need to ask the right questions. Everyone has varying incomes, health history, and standards for personal health. These differences mean you can’t allow someone to tell us what plan you need. Insurance is a service you pay for, and part of that service is the provider taking the time to educate you based on your personal needs and health goals.
Good questions to ask regarding your coverage include:
- Who am I providing coverage for? (Self, spouse, and/or children)
- Do I have any ongoing medical needs I must make sure are covered?
- What prescriptions does my family use?
- What physicians are considered in-network with my insurance?
Know what coverage you need and what you can go without
Depending on your overall health, you may not need a lot of the coverages your current plan offers. Conversely, you may need more coverage than your plan can provide. It’s important to take your needs into consideration, and if you’re ever uncertain about your health and well-being, talk to your family doctor. Too often, people are either over paying for coverages they don’t need or taking on unnecessary, ongoing medical expenses by being under-insured.
If you are in good health, you may want to opt for a plan with a higher deductible that covers you for major medical emergencies, but does not leave you paying a high monthly premium for coverages you may never use. However, if you have ongoing medical needs, make sure you are taking those into consideration. You may pay a higher monthly premium, but in many cases, this lowers your additional out-of-pocket expenses. If you’re not sure of your needs, your employer’s benefits administrator or insurance agent can be especially helpful in plan selection.
Your health insurance needs can and will change
There are several circumstances in life that can cause your health insurance coverage needs to change. It’s great to take our first two tips into consideration, but it’s also important to re-evaluate your needs each year during open enrollment. What worked for you last year when you were single may not work for you and your new spouse, or for children you may have brought into your family. Most health insurance policies give you the ability to change your coverage outside open enrollment if you have a qualifying life event, so if you ever find your circumstances changing, don’t be afraid to ask if you are eligible to change your coverage or plan.
Digging into health coverage is not enjoyable, but once you do, the peace of mind you get will remedy any future ill feelings toward your healthcare coverage. If you were feeling under-educated or lacking confidence in your current healthcare coverage, hopefully these three tips helped point you in the right direction.
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