Too many people make the mistake of putting off obtaining health insurance, and before they know it, it’s too late. Most people don’t give health insurance a second thought, fail to understand it, doubt its affordability, or believe it’s not as important as it really is. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for health insurance.
If you just graduated college and need insurance, there are some choices for you to think about. If you are employed, talk to your boss about employee-based health insurance. If you are younger than 26, you can still be covered by your parents, or you can research personal health insurance policies.
It is important to plan for the higher cost of an individual policy versus a group policy often offered by employers. You might need to choose a higher deductible and reduce some parts of your coverage to keep the costs affordable. Make sure you consider all your options before purchasing insurance.
Keep track of your prescription coverage. Sometimes health insurers change the medications they will cover, so each year when you re-enroll, review the terms carefully. If a pill that you take every day is suddenly no longer covered, it may be time to search for a different insurance company.
Choosing catastrophic coverage can offer big savings on medical insurance costs. Catastrophic coverage only kicks in for emergency care and hospitalizations, whereas comprehensive coverages includes coverage for prescriptions and visits to the doctor.
Having health insurance can lead to tax deductions! Many people don’t realize that their health insurance premiums are tax deductible. Any money you spend to cover your deductible, your prescriptions, or any visits that your insurance doesn’t cover can also be deducted from your taxable income. Be sure to check the separate guidelines for state and federal tax differences.
There are always some situations and conditions that will not be covered by your health insurance. 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.
Each state regulates its own health insurance, so you cannot buy health insurance in a different state than the one in which you reside. Depending on your rules, a hospital in another state could be outside of your coverage area. Because insurance providers are so picky, it is important that you find this information about before going to another state.
Be mindful of your bills. You may think that because you have health insurance that the additional costs you have to pay will be low. In some cases though, this can be wrong, especially when the cost of prescriptions are taken into consideration. Some doctors write a prescription without thinking if a cheap generic is available. Also, shop around. One generic medicine can be a different price, depending on the pharmacy where it is purchased.
A good tip to implement with health insurance is to always read the policy handbook thoroughly. Your carrier will send a booklet that has all the policy details in it, and fully reading it is the best way to understand what coverage you have. While the process may be boring, it will pay dividends down the road.
As you prepare to change to a new health insurance plan, you should carefully track all medical expenses related to maintaining your coverage. You should be able to get a good feel for the exact amount of out-of-pocket costs that you are responsible for with respect to yourself and other family members on your plan.
An option you have when getting a prescription from your doctor is to ask him to double the dose he prescribes. You may be able to save a lot of money here, because the larger pill may not necessarily be double the price of a pill that’s smaller. This way your pill splitter is going to be paid for before you know it.
By increasing your knowledge about health insurance, you will be able to make more informed, and therefore better decisions for your family and yourself when selecting a health insurance plan. Insurance is important to have and shouldn’t be neglected. Choosing your insurance is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.