If you’re buying health insurance outside a job base plan, then you may not know where to start. Picking health insurance can be hard work even if you’re choosing a plan through your employer. There are a lot of confusing terms and the process forces you to think hard about your health and your finances. On top of it all, you often have to navigate on a deadline, typically within a few week period.
This means that picking the health insurance plan that’s right for you can feel a little overwhelming. If you’re unsure, there are a few ways to help you zero in on the right plan for you when you’re looking at all the ones available on the market.
Here are some tips on where to look and how to make sure you get the best possible information.
Tip #1: Know Where to Go
Sadly, is not always obvious where to look for health insurance. If you’re 65 and older than you might be eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a federally run program in which the government pays for much of your healthcare.
For those who are under the age of 65 your may be able get coverage through your employer. Typically, your employer will cover between 70% and 90% of your premium costs. You’re going through your employer and should check in with your supervisor or your company’s human resource department to find out more about the plans that are available to you.
And if you aren’t one of the people that can get insurance to your work in the best place, the best possible place to go is healthcare.gov. This is where you can go for insurance and you can apply for financial help, depending on your income.
Tip #2: Overwhelmed? Think About What’s Predictable About Your Health
If you’re basically healthy and you’re picking from one or two plans, it can be pretty simple. Especially if you’re getting your insurance from your workplace, you can just ask your coworkers what they like and get more information that way. However, not everyone is that lucky and they can end up with a number of insurance choices.
Even with thousands of options, you can narrow things down with some basic questions. Ask yourself if you just want insurance for the catastrophic event that might happen, or do you know you have health issues and you need ongoing care for that?
If you’re already on medications or you have a doctor you really like, you can often enter this information to filter out the plans that won’t cover them. This can really narrow down your options as you can learn which provider is going to cover your doctor.
There are also two major different types of plans to consider. Often you are going to have the option to choose between what’s called an HMO or PPO. Basically, this means that if you see provided outside of the network, the costs are all on you with an HMO or also known as a health maintenance organization. A preferred provider organization or PPO is going to give you a broader choice of providers. Although it might be more expensive upfront in the long and it ill still reduce the cost. This really means the you have to look at your health and know if going to need to see people outside of your network more often or not.