Medical insurance is something a person never wants to have to use but should not go without. It will provide valuable benefits during critical times of illness, saving an individual a lot of money. Whether it is offered through an employer benefit plan or purchased as a standalone policy, an individual should know how to pick health insurance.
Step 1: Gather all of the information regarding each available plan. Some plans are only offered in certain geographic areas, so if they do not apply, disregard them. Get the plan summary documents that detail the included services and out of pocket costs. These will be needed in order to do a comparison.
Step 2: Compare the plan summaries line by line. Go through each covered service and see if any plans omit some necessary services. Disregard those plans.
Step 3: Re-review the plan summary documents, noting the deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pay amounts. The deductible is the amount the insured will need to pay prior to receiving any benefits from the insurance. Co-insurance is shared costs between the individual and insurance carrier, after the deductible is met. The co-pay is the amount the individual pays for doctor and hospital visits. Disregard the plans with out of pocket costs that are not affordable.
Step 4: Explore the networks offered by each plan and see if there are major differences. If a plan has a small network and the co-insurance for going outside the network represents high costs to the individual, disregard the plan.
Step 5: Look at the prescription and vision coverage, if included, to see if any have high out of pocket costs and disregard those plans if these services will be utilized regularly.
Step 6: The result will be a short list of plans that have reasonable out of pocket costs and adequate coverage. Find out the monthly premiums associated with each plan and select the one that is most affordable.