Choosing a Health Plan

No one wants to spend their time poring over health insurance plans but that’s what millions of Americans have to do to protect their financial well-being. Choosing the right health insurance plan can be overwhelming. Luckily, has come up with these useful tips to help you cut through the clutter:

  • Use online comparison tools to help you evaluate various plans side-by-side. There’s a nine-in-ten chance an employer will use these tools to save money. Sadly, only about 1-in-10 employees do the same. If it’s worth the effort for a company or corporation and it saves them money, it can be for you too.
  • Take stock of your medication check prices among various plans. Brand-name drugs can oftentimes be very expensive. If and medication is one of your primary concerns you’re going to want to choose a health insurance plan with a formulary (medication list) and co-payment that best suits your prescription needs.
  • Lower co-pays on prescription drugs can often be had if you find a health insurance plan that supports meds by mail. It’s a convenient option and could save you money.
  • Pay close attention to a health insurance plan for any caps or annual limits on coverage. If you have to see a doctor often, or are on expensive medications, make sure there are no caps that will adversely affect you.
  • A lot of health insurance plans will offer wellness management incentives if you take proactive measure such as to stop smoking, maintain and control your diabetes, undergo a health-risk assessment, and so on.
  • Consider a special fund for emergencies and catastrophic events. If you are considering a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may be able to set up a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with your employer. An HRA will cover your deductible should the unthinkable happen.
  • Look into a tax-deductible FSA or flexible savings account. Unlike an HRA, FSA contributions are employee-funded and are subtracted from pre-tax income.
  • Many health insurance plans define a maximum out-of-pocket total, which dictates how much the insured must personally contribute before they receive full coverage. You’ll want to pay close attention and see if the health insurance plans you’re considering, grant you full coverage once your out-of-pocket obligation has been reached.
  • If you currently see a doctor who is not in a health insurance plan you’re considering, keep in mind that switching doctors can be a nuisance and can also adversely affect your health if you depend on a particular physician for their expertise or specialization.
  • Compare how much flexibility is built into each health insurance plan. Choose one that corresponds to your needs. For example, if you have a chronic condition or see a lot of specialists, you’ll most likely want a point-of-service (POS) or preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. An HMO or Health Management Organization, which limits your choices to specific physicians in their network will likely appeal to someone younger or healthier.