Many people are offered health insurance as a benefit through their employer. If you work for a smaller company, if you are a part-time employee or if you are self-employed, this benefit may not be available to you. Buying your own health coverage may be essential, but you may not know how this type of insurance works or what you need to purchase. A closer look at the options will help you to set up the right policy for your needs.
You have considerable control over the cost of your health insurance premium, which is the regular monthly expense that you pay to maintain your coverage. When you select a lower deductible, a lower co-payment, more benefits or a combination of each of these, you will generally have a higher premium. With numerous policies to choose from, your time and effort spent setting up the right coverage for your needs will be rewarded. Understanding how you plan to use the coverage, such as simply for major medical or for regular monthly visits, is important.
Keep in mind that some policies cover special needs, such as mental health services or maternity care. Others do not. Some include robust prescription drug coverage, and this may be important if you regularly take prescription medications. You may also need to find a plan that includes care from a provider who you prefer to get treatment from. If you are committed to continuing to visit your regular provider, you may even ask the provider for a list of accepted insurance plans as a starting point.
It is common to compare health coverage based on the cost of the premium alone. However, you can see that the deductible and co-payment amount also impact the cost of your care. This is especially true if you regularly visit the doctor or have an on-going medical condition that requires regular care. The services and conditions covered as well as the prescription drug benefits also affect the total cost of healthcare. Therefore, it is best to take into account the full benefits and coverages of a specific plan before signing up.