In the market for health insureance? Who isn’t? After all, protecting our health is something all of us need to do, both by eating, exercising, and living right and by covering ourselves against unexpected medical bills that may pop up. (And when are they ever “expected?”)
So, as someone keen on expecting the unexpected when it comes to medical emergencies and future health care expenses, you may want to dig in deep on the research, talk to a health insurance expert, and fill up your shopping cart with all the specific types of health cover you and your family are likely ever to need. If so, you can click for more info here.
But what about the continually rising costs of health care and health insurance? How do you get around all that or at least mitigate prices to the max? And at the same time, you need to get the coverage package that will indeed fit your needs. Read on to learn three essential tips to keep in mind as you shop for your “perfect” health insurance policy.
Balance Premiums, Deductibles, Income, and Your Health
You need to be a bit of a “financial juggler” to pick the best health insurance plans that will save you the most money in the long run. The cheapest-premium plan may not be the best overall deal. It all depends.
You have to first of all figure out how much you can afford to pay, at max, per month in premiums (and not trespass over that “red line” unless you later find it was drawn in the wrong place.)
Next, realize that the more you pay in premiums, the lower your deductible will be and the less you will pay for many health care services. But that’s where your health comes into the equation, if you are pretty healthy, live day to day, and only see the doctor a couple of times a year for a check-up (usually), it won’t make sense to pay high premiums for more excellent coverage you won’t likely use.
But if you anticipate high medical expenses, maybe you expect you may get pregnant, or you have a chronic condition or your health, in general, s not what you’d like it to be, then a high-premium plan can save you money.
Buy Unbranded Drugs
If you need drugs on a regular basis you should speak with the pharmacist about the ones that are generic. They will do the job just as well and are generally a lot cheaper. You could also ask if you can save any money by purchasing them in bulk, as sometimes you will pay less for a three-month supply than you will be buying them each month.
Buy Sooner, Rather Than Later
Procrastination is not your friend when it comes to shopping for health insureance. Medicare open enrollment is limited to the three months of November, December, and January. To be covered for the year ahead, you have to get it done by 31 January or sooner.
Waiting till near the end of the enrollment period means fighting for phone time with millions of others who also waited too long. And it means crammed websites that are so overloaded they may run much slower than usual.
It’s true that you may qualify for a “special enrollment period” if you are going to have a baby or if you just lost your job and accompanying health insurance benefits, but otherwise, the enrollment period limitations are quite strict.
Plus, waiting only gives costs a chance to rise and leaves you uncovered in the meantime.
Let’s say you are in a car accident. If you have cover and were not responsible for the crash, everything should be rosy. But what if you have made a mistake on your claim form, told a little white lie about your mileage, or have even been driving with a dog in the vehicle that isn’t strapped in? All of these issues could invalidate your coverage, leaving you – possibly – to fit the bill. And if you were responsible for the crash, be prepared for your insurers to take a good look at your situation. As this accident attorney points out, crash claims can run into millions. And here isn’t an insurer on the planet that will let those kind of figures go without a thorough investigation.
Research Your Prospective Plan Carefully
To make a wise health insureance choice, it must be one of two things: a lucky shot in the dark or an informed decision. Don’t count on luck and “gamble” with your health. This can lead and cause a lot of stress and damage to your health, and you can even get sick from it – what a paradox. Take the time to understand a plan before you adopt it as your own.
Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, for example, are all very different, and you can customize any of them as well. Part C is particularly attractive because it puts your hospital, medical, and prescription drug coverage under a single “umbrella plan” and integrates that plan with a private insurance provider.
Read The Small Print
Read the small print of your policy to make sure you understand exactly what you are paying for. You do not want a shock when you are in a hospital, for instance, and find the treatment you are having is not covered. If there are any parts you do not understand seek advice from someone who will know more about these things.
If you disagree with something and are being asked to pay bills you cannot afford, you may need the help of alawyerto fight your case for you. This is more likely to happen with injuries from an accident than from an illness, and a personal injury lawyer could help to get your medical bills paid as well as claiming some compensation for you.
But you also need to find out details like which doctors would be in your health network if you need referrals to get specialist visits covered, and what kind of prescription drugs are covered.
Then be sure you stop to calculate exactly how much you will pay per year no matter what and how much you would likely save based on your current health care expenses before making a final decision.