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 you are thinking of getting health insurance, ensure you figure the costs and sit down and think about it. Add up the total costs, not just the premium, because co-pays and deductible costs will add up pretty quickly.
When open enrollment comes around, take the time to evaluate your health insurance needs. What worked for you in the past might now be inadequate, especially if your health has changed or you need to add someone to your coverage. Open enrollment also gives you the opportunity for making changes to other plans, such as dental or vision.
An individual buying a health policy typically costs much more than going with a group policy; keep that in mind and plan accordingly. It is possible you might have to be satisfied with a higher deductible and/or less coverage. Every insurer will evaluate you differently, so it’s well worth your time to shop several insurers until you find the cheapest rates for the most coverage.
If you can’t afford comprehensive insurance, then at least get catastrophic coverage. Catastrophic coverage is for emergency uses, and comprehensive coverage is for prescriptions and visits to the doctor.
Check the state and federal tax guidelines to determine which medical costs can be deducted on your tax return. There are many people who don’t know that any health insurance premiums you pay can be deducted from your taxes. Money can also be deducted from prescriptions and visits that aren’t covered by the insurance and your deductible. Get the advice of your tax accountant if you are unsure about which expenses are deductible.
Most health insurance plans have loopholes, and yours is probably not an exception. Peruse every word of your policy, so that you won’t have any unpleasant surprises. You need to be ready to pay for things on your own that are not covered. Some medications and procedures are not always fully covered by insurance.
If you talk to a health insurance agent, don’t tell them anything they don’t ask for. If you have a condition and they don’t ask about it, withold that information. Remember that the insurance companies are trying to make money, and anything you say can and will be used against you, in the form of raising premiums or denial of coverage.
Choose which type of health insurance policy works best for you. HMOs and PPOs are common choices, but don’t count out POS plans just because of their acronym. Each one has different options, so check them out prior to buying from a company. If you like your present doctor, make sure with any policy you choose there is an option to stick with him.
Keep in mind that some insurance companies will add a surcharge if a spouse you include on your insurance plan has access to their own insurance through an employer. Take a look at the details and determine whether you could actually benefit financially by keeping your policies separated.
You do not want to find out about the limitations of your health insurance policy when you get sick. Be prepared before you need your insurance by making sure that you fully understand your policy and what options you have. Having a poor insurance policy is not a good decision, but you can change that anytime.