Healthy Living

You Should Know These 3 Things Before Choosing An Online Health Plan

You Should Know These 3 Things Before Choosing An Online Health Plan
Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Most people get insurance through their employers. They’ve no need to shop for health insurance plans online. There are others, though, who work at home, are retired and on Medicare, or are disabled and on Medicare. These people should have dental and vision insurance, which isn’t included in Medicare. What should they know before they get an online health plan?

1. Establish Your Health Care Costs

It’s human nature to shop for something according to your financial capabilities. Unfortunately, that gets you higher out-of-pocket costs and possibly costs for going out of network. Drugs might cost more as well. 

It’s understandable that if you live on a limited income or don’t make much working from home, you want to pay as little as possible for health insurance plans online. On the other hand, health care isn’t anything on which to skimp. The smart thing to do is shop for a plan with a deductible you can afford, as little out-of-pocket costs as you can afford as well as drugs included in the plan. 

2. You Should Know The Type Of Plan That Best Suits Your Needs

There are four types of healthcare plans: HMO or Health Maintenance Organization, PPO or Preferred Provider Organization, EPO or Exclusive Provider Organization, and POS or Point of Service Plan. Each has different requirements and benefits:

  • An HMO requires you to remain in-network, provides referrals for specialists and procedures, offers lower out-of-pocket costs, and provides a primary care doctor. You don’t get to choose your doctor
  • With a PPO, you can go out of network although in-network doctors are cheaper. You don’t get specialists or procedures. You don’t have to have a referral, but you do get more choice of doctors. The out-of-pocket costs are higher.
  • An EPO is in-network. Emergencies are not. You don’t require a referral for specialists or procedures. The out-of-pocket costs are lower, but you can’t choose your doctors.
  • Point of service plans are in-network which is cheaper, and you can have referrals for specialists and procedures. You have more choice of doctors as well as a primary care doctor.

3. Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs Against Plan Benefits

Knowing how much you’ll be required to pay in co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance should be offset by knowing what they’re paying. For instance, if you have a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes, then you’ll need to know how much to pay each time you see the doctor get your meds refilled.

Certain health insurance plans online pay out a higher amount of your costs but charge more in premiums each month:

  • If you see your doctor on a regular basis
  • If you take name brand medicines
  • If you need surgery
  • If you have a chronic condition like cancer or diabetes

Other plans offer out-of-pocket costs that are higher, but you’ll pay less in premiums each month:

  • If you can’t afford the high premiums each month 
  • If you’re basically healthy and don’t require a doctor regularly

In today’s world, finances are a major consideration in health care. Knowing these three things about seeking health care plans will go far towards covering your health affordably.

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