Do not approach health insurance with fear. It is true the field is complex and your options are many, but the more you learn, the safer you will feel. Health insurance is similar to healthcare itself. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By making smart choices when you select health insurance, you can avoid difficulties in the future.
When it is time to renew your policy, evaluate your needs carefully. As your medical needs and family dynamics change, your health insurance should be adjusted to meet those needs. If your employer also offers vision and dental insurance, you should review that also during open enrollment.
Plan out your future accordingly, because group coverage is usually cheaper than individual policies. You might need to settle for higher deductibles or less coverage. Take some time to research companies so that you can get the best rates and coverage.
Vision insurance is a good thing to have if you already have vision problems, or if there are vision problems in your family. Vision insurance will help you afford your annual eye exam and your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Vision insurance is not mandatory, and some people spend less money not having this type of coverage.
To save on health insurance costs, choose catastrophic coverage instead of comprehensive. Prescriptions and doctor’s visits are covered by a comprehensive plan, while hospital and emergency care is covered by catastrophic health insurance.
You should expect that your insurance will have stipulations and loopholes. Read every page of the policy, so you won’t be surprised when the company tells you that something isn’t covered. Be ready to take care of the cost for specific procedures and medications that insurance will not cover.
When your health insurer telephones you during the insurance application process, do not volunteer any extra information. Only give them the health information they specifically ask for. If you give any extra information, it will be recorded and can be used to raise the premium, or can even be cause for denial.
Understand that private insurance is regulated on a state-by-state basis and cannot be purchased across state lines due to interstate commerce laws. If you end up in a hospital outside your state, you might not be covered. Check with the insurance company before you sign up for the policy to avoid disappointment later.
Check with your health insurance carrier to know what prescriptions are covered under your policy. This can change annually, so checking regularly will ensure that you do not suddenly find out that your prescriptions are no longer covered.
Some employers do not let your spouse ride on your insurance without a spousal surcharge if your spouse’s employer also offers insurance. It may sometimes be more economical for you and your spouse to obtain individual insurance plans through your employers, so compare costs under both circumstances.
If you are one of those people that does not go to the doctor too much, your best bet would probably be to start a Health Savings Account (HSA). All of the money that you save from paying premiums and deductibles, can be put into this account and used for any medical expenses that you incur.
If you are unable to afford the cost of comprehensive health insurance, you may want to consider catastrophic coverage. This will give you some protection in case unforeseen things happen, such as accidents or illnesses requiring hospitalization. Catastrophic health coverage is an excellent addition to existing health coverage as well. It gives extra coverage in extreme situations.
Do not learn about the shortcomings of your insurance coverage during an emergency or illness. Be prepared, learn ahead of time everything you need to know about your insurance, and find out what alternatives are available. Going through life without a health insurance is risky, but you know now what to do to find a good policy.