Did you know that between 2016 and 2017 the number of people with health insurance coverage increased by 2.3 million, up to 294.6 million people? In 2017, 91.2% of people in the US had health insurance coverage.
But why is health insurance and having a healthcare plan that is right for your family important? And how do you choose a health plan that is right for you and your loved ones?
Your family are the most important people in your life, so keep reading to discover how to choose a healthcare plan.
Choosing a Health Plan
Having a healthcare plan that meets your family’s need is essential because at any time you or your loved ones might have an accident or become ill and need medical treatment.
Good health care plans are able to help you cover the costs of medical treatments and hospital stays, which is really important considering how much these can cost.
The average hospital cost is $3,949 per day, with most hospital stays costing an average of $15,734.
Your health care plan needs to be affordable, relevant to your needs, and reliable in times of needs. Choosing a health plan means that you need to compare health insurance and work out which one is right for you, but to do this you need to first consider and ask yourself these 5 things.
5 Things to Consider When Comparing Health Care Plans
There are a lot of different health insurance and healthcare coverage plans available. So, it can be confusing to choose a health insurance broker that is right for you.
The essential things you need to consider are your family requirements, prescription drug coverage, cost, additional services, hospital care, finding a doctor, and exclusions.
1. Family Requirements
The first thing you need to think about when considering which healthcare plan is best for you and your family is your requirements. Do your family have specific health conditions that mean you need extra or special health insurance coverage? Are you likely to develop certain health conditions in the future?
For example, if you or your family have, or are likely to be diagnosed with, a serious health condition then make sure your health insurance will cover the costs and care of this.
If you think that you will need access to specialist doctors then you need to find out if your healthcare plan covers this. Some health care plans require a referral from your doctor prior to seeing a specialist, whilst other plans do not.
If you already have a specialist, make sure you research whether they will be accepted as your specialist on your health care plan, or if you will have to find a different specialist.
2. Prescription Drug Coverage
One thing you need to consider before choosing a healthcare plan is whether the plans you are looking at, allow you to continue with any prescription drugs that you are already taking. Otherwise, you might need to take different drugs which could cause problems with your health.
Another thing you need to look at is if your health care plan covers the cost of prescription drugs. This is essential if you take, or think you might start taking, a range of prescription drugs.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of finding a healthcare plan that is best for you and your family is the cost of the insurance. You need to find an affordable plan that can cover all of your requirements and one that doesn’t break the bank.
One way to compare different health plan costs is by looking at the deductibles you need to pay before the health insurance will pay. Another way is by finding out what co-payments are involved, these are the fees you pay when you visit the doctor or hospital.
Another thing you need to compare when you are looking at the cost of health care is the lifetime limits. Some health insurance policies have a cap on how much they will pay, whilst others might have a yearly health care limit.
4. Additional Services
Compare different health plans by looking at what additional services they offer. Some plans and policies provide a range of additional treatments, such as counseling, drug, and alcohol rehabilitation, home health care, chiropractic care, nursing home care, etc.
There are also policies and plans that offer supplemental health insurance options, such as critical illness or long-term care insurance.
You should also note what different plans exclude from their coverage, as every plan varies. You don’t want to choose a health care plan to realize that they don’t cover the treatments and care you need.
5. Hospital Care
Before choosing a healthcare plan, make sure you look into what hospital and emergency care they provide. Look at what emergency rooms and hospitals are covered in your plan and make sure you understand what your healthcare policy means by ’emergency’.
Some health care plans also might require you to contact your primary care physician prior to seeking emergency care, so make sure you know the ins and outs of all the plans you are considering. Always read the small print of your healthcare policy so you know what to expect and what you need to do.
How to Choose a Healthcare Plan
Healthcare plans can be life-saving and help you cover the cost of essential medical care, so it is important that you get one that works for you and your family.
However, comparing insurance plans can be tricky and it can be easy to forget what you need to think about. Luckily, if you want to know how to choose a healthcare plan, then our guide on the 5 things you need to consider when picking the right healthcare can help shed some light on what you need to think about.
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