With Americans spending more than $3 trillion on healthcare every year, we’re all looking for a way to lower costs.
Here are six tips to keep in mind when on the hunt for healthcare.
1. Figure Out What You Need
Before you start looking at healthcare plans, you should consider what you need in a medical plan. Deciding what kind of healthcare you need now isn’t enough. Consider your medical history and your family history when thinking about what you’ll need in the future.
If you’re choosing from the federal marketplace, most people apply for insurance every year. If you’re looking to get a federal income-based subsidy for your insurance costs, you’ll need to update your financial information every time you apply.
The average amount that you pay for medical expenses every year should come into consideration. Also, think about the cost of medications that you use on a regular basis. Compare these figures to your budget to get a feel for how much you can afford to spend on healthcare.
This will let you know what kind of plan you can afford. Remember that if you don’t enroll in a plan, you could end up being penalized by the federal government.
2. Learn The Basics
There’s a lot of lingo that comes along with the healthcare industry. Most of it is foreign to the average person but the two basic types of health insurance are well known.
An HMO plan means that you have to choose your primary care physician from a network of local providers. Most of your care starts and ends with your PCP. They will refer you to other doctors and specialists and their referrals will carry more weight with your insurance company than if you pursue one on your own.
A PPO is a type of insurance plan that offers much more flexibility. You can choose healthcare providers without going through a PCP in this type of plan. You’ll also be provided with a network of healthcare providers and if you choose those within the network, you’ll pay lower costs.
3. Find Your Marketplace
While most people get their insurance through their employer, a growing number of people use insurance marketplaces following the ACA. When you don’t have the option to get a plan through work, it’s important to look at all of the options that Texas offers online.
Some people with healthcare from their employers still prefer plans that are available online. If you are self employed or you’re working for a small company or one who doesn’t heavily subsidize your healthcare, a Short term Health insurance plan in texas may be a good option.
4. Look at Quotes
Once you’ve determined what you need, start shopping for your plan. You can look through the federal marketplace but talking to a licensed agent can offer better insight. They can consider what you’re looking for and help you to decide.
Insurance agents also know how to help you apply for financial assistance and get through the enrollment process without paying more than you need to. Unlike hiring a real estate agent or a travel agent, an insurance agent charges no fee for their assistance.
Insurance company websites might also offer quotes but they won’t always include information from the federal marketplace.
5. Compare Networks
Urban Texans won’t have as much of a problem finding care as rural Texans. While you might find a plan that seems affordable and offers everything you need, it might not offer the best options for where you’re located.
If you have a preference, as those providers who they use. Some doctors are more agnostic while others have a preferred insurance provider who they work with. This can help you narrow down your choice.
People with no preference should opt for a larger network to offer more choices. Start narrowing things down by eliminating plans with no local in-network options. When you need care, you don’t want to be driving three hours just for a checkup.
6. Look At Out-of-Pocket Costs
The way that costs get shared makes as much of a difference as how big the network is. Plans should clearly lay out how much you’ll pay for services. Snapshots are usually available online.
Cost-sharing varies from plan to plan. You want to find a plan that pays a higher portion of your costs, however, many will also charge higher premiums. It’s time to understand when it’s useful to pay more.
If you go to the doctor frequently or need emergency care often, then it’s okay to pay a little more. If you’re reliant on brand-name or expensive medications on a regular basis, that could also be important. Anyone diagnosed with a serious condition, planning to have surgery, or expecting a baby should also agree to pay more if they get a greater portion covered.
Higher out-of-pocket costs are more reasonable for people who rarely see a doctor because of good health or they simply can’t afford it. It’s better to have some insurance than none.
Ask For Help in Finding the Best Health Insurance Plans
Working with a Health insurance broker in Texas is the best way to sort through the best health insurance plans in texas. It can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out which plan is best for you. With your health on the line, there’s no reason to take risks with your choice.
If cost is what’s keeping you up at night, check out our guide to find a great deal on a health insurance plan.