According to the January 2018 statistics released on open enrollment, over 8.8 million people signed up for the Affordable Care Act.
The future of healthcare has remained a large question mark as changes under Trumpcare are still unknown. With or without government healthcare aid, it’s becoming a necessary thing to find healthcare that is affordable.
Since we don’t know quite what the future holds, now is the time to figure out what your options are for the most affordable and best medical insurance.
Let’s take a look at how you can avoid the rising costs of health insurance and choose the best plan for your medical needs.
Best Medical Insurance & Affordable Care
Healthcare prices are rising and American’s are thinking about how to get the most out of their insurance. Obamacare provided benefits, but also had its downfalls.
Americans are going bankrupt over huge healthcare debts from medical bills. So much so that it’s the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
The fear of having expensive medical bills is leading many individuals that need proper care to decline help. This affordable healthcare is a need that must be met in order to keep people safe and healthy.
What do you do about it? Having the knowledge about how to select a health insurance plan that is right for your medical needs is the first step to getting on track. Let’s take a look at the types of healthcare plans that are out there and how to select the best medical insurance for you.
Selecting Insurance Plans
Are you employed? If you are, the first thing to do is ask your employer if they provide any healthcare coverage. They may offer one health insurance plan, or several that you could pick from. This will narrow your starting choices.
Since there are so many health insurance providers out there, it can be confusing to figure out where to start. We’re going to discover together all of the options you have available to you.
If you don’t have health insurance through your employer, you may be able to get it from an organization you’re a part of. Sometimes associations or organizations offer health insurance coverage at a group rate to individuals that do not have coverage through their employer.
If you don’t have either of the above options available to you, the next thing to do is check to see if you qualify for Obamacare. You could qualify for a credit upfront that will allow you to buy health insurance through your local marketplace.
Obamacare marketplace credits will allow you to file it through your taxes and see a return for it at the end of the year.
Other Available Options
If none of these plans are available to you, you’ll have to settle for a private health insurance plan. It’s less affordable, but there are ways you can still save money and find the best medical insurance through a private plan.
Let’s explore in detail the different types of health insurance policies and what kind of coverage you could receive by using them.
Health Insurance Policies
There are different health insurance coverage under each healthcare policy. They come in all shapes and sizes, but depending on where you enroll, you may not have access to all of the options.
A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is one of the most common types of health insurance. When you are insured by an HMO, you can only use the healthcare providers in the HMO’s network.
Anytime you’re needing to see a specialist, or someone other than your primary care provider, you have to get a referral from your PCP. That could be inconvenient if you have special medical needs and need to see a lot of specialists.
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is another common type of health insurance. PPOs are different from HMOs in the fact that you aren’t confined to care just within your network. However, seeing physicians outside of your network may cost more.
You are not required to have referrals from your primary care physician to see a specialist with a PPO.
An Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) mashes both an HMO policy and a PPO policy together. With an EPO, you can see specialists with a referral from your PCP, but you can’t go outside of the plan’s network to see a physician.
Opposite of an EPO, a Point of Service health insurance plan are one of the least common health insurance options out there. With a POS, you have to have a referral from your PCP in order to see a specialist. You don’t need to stay inside of the plan’s network, however.
Now that you know what types of health insurance policies are out there, let’s take a look at the types of deductibles associated with these plans. Deductibles are what you have to pay each year for your healthcare before your insurance will cover any cost.
The best medical insurance is will have the right type of deductible and premium for you. The first thing you should consider when selecting a plan is the amount it’s going to cost on a month to month basis.
There are high deductible and low deductible health insurance plans. Typically, a high deductible plan will offer an individual a lower monthly premium. A lower deductible would charge a higher monthly premium.
If you’re a healthy individual, you may see fit it’s better for you to enroll in a high deductible plan because you’ll be able to pay a lower monthly premium. If you remain healthy, the amount you’ll have to pay in healthcare bills will be less.
If you’re someone with a chronic illness or find yourself going to see a physician a lot, it may be smarter to get a lower deductible policy with a higher monthly premium.
You will need to consider what’s best for your family. If you have a senior citizen in your care, a young child, or a disabled individual, it’s best to go with a lower deductible as you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Getting a higher deductible when you know you will be spending time at the doctor’s will cost you money.
You don’t have to sift through all of your health insurance choices on your own. You can hire a health insurance broker to help you figure out the best medical insurance. Let’s take a look at what getting a health insurance broken entails.
Hiring a Health Insurance Broker
Trying to figure out what all of your options are for selecting the best medical insurance can be super confusing. Turning to insurance companies for advice won’t give you unbiased opinions.
Insurance companies speak for themselves and can tell you everything you need to know about their insurance policies and products. They can’t tell you what you need to know about other insurance policies.
Speaking to an insurance company won’t give you the best view of what your choices are for affordable healthcare. Having someone on your team that has the knowledge about different healthcare insurance providers and plans will help you save.
The Benefits of a Broker
You can hire a health insurance broker to do just this. They aren’t employed by insurance companies, they are there to help you by providing an unbiased view of your options.
Typically, health insurance brokers get paid by insurance companies so there is no upfront cost associated with reaching out to one for professional advice. They may charge fees to provide consultation, but this is rare.
Brokers can help you select the best medical insurance because they know everything there is to know about the different types of plans. They can explain the differences between your options so you can select the right choice for your family.
Your wants and needs will be analyzing coinciding with your budget so you can find the best medical insurance that fits your desire of care and your pocketbook.
Health Insurance Claims
Health insurance brokers are also really good at making health insurance claims. They can provide superior service in advocating for you to the insurance company.
If you file a claim with your insurance company yourself, you will have less influence than if a health insurance broker files it for you. They are there to help you figure out what you need to do and how to get the most out of your insurance.
They can also help you figure out where you can cut costs and maximize your healthcare benefits. If they require a fee, it makes up for it in the amount of time they save you by using their expertise and knowledge.
Most people that are looking for the most affordable and best medical insurance prices end up hiring a health insurance broker. They find that they save the most going this route.
Choosing Your Health Care
The options that you have for choosing the best medical insurance are vast. Whether you’re getting the best medical insurance options from your employer, an organization, or a private insurance vendor, you have a lot of choices to make.
What is best for your family? A PPO, HMO, POS or EPO? Do you need a higher deductible plan or a lower deductible plan?
Thinking about all of these things when you’re getting ready to enroll will aid you in choosing the best medical insurance. Hiring a health insurance broker can help you along in this process if it’s too much for you to take on alone.
Narrow it Down
Narrowing down your options to three to four different health insurance policies is a great place to start. From there, you can get into the details of each plan. If you’re doing it on your own, there’s a great system you can follow to determine which option will be the best for your care.
Take the policy’s monthly premium amount and multiply it by 12 for the annual cost of the healthcare plan. Then you’ll add in the out-of-pocket maximum for the plan. This will provide you with a figure that gives you the most you’d spend on healthcare in a given year.
This works if you are estimating you may have major medical expenses. It won’t be as accurate if you’re pretty healthy and don’t foresee many major medical expenses.
Once you have done this for all the best medical insurance plans you are considering, you can compare them side by side. The policy that has the lowest amount is the best deal among your choices.
Does Your Doctor Accept It?
Do you already have a primary care physician? If you’re wanting to stick with the physician you’ve seen in the past, selecting a plan that covers your doctor is important. If you don’t care about who you see, this matters less.
How to Make the Right Choice
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and an analysis of your current situation. Are you healthy? Is your family healthy? Do you have an employer who adds money to your HSA or has a health insurance broker as a resource?
Selecting the best medical insurance doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or confusing decision. With this guide, you can use the knowledge to widdle down your choices to a select few and figure out where you want to go from there.
If you’re still feeling like it’s not enough help, taking a look at your health insurance broker options will provide you with great advice. Another option is having a great financial advisor on your team to help you figure out how much you can allocate of your budget to health insurance.
Reach out to us today to schedule a financial consultation to help determine your insurance budget.