It may seem like an overwhelming task to purchase health insurance for your family because there are many providers and plans to choose from these days. It is important to take insurance shopping seriously and give yourself the time you need to investigate what your family needs and which company and plan can provide for those needs.
Shopping For Health Insurance
Part of the shopping process involves the comparison between companies. The best way to find answers is to ask questions. These questions can help you narrow down which plans do not offer what you need. These same questions can be asked whether you are shopping for insurance coverage on your own or have the opportunity to receive health insurance benefits from your employers.
Here are 9 questions to consider when shopping for family health insurance:
- Will the insurance plan allow you to choose the hospital and doctors you prefer or are you limited in provider choices?
- Is coverage limited by pre-existing medical conditions? What other situations may leave you being denied for insurance coverage?
- What is the monthly cost of the premium?
- What is the deductible, the amount paid out of pocket before insurance coverage will kick in, on the policy?
- What are the co-pay and other fees for seeing a provider, a specialist, or treatment from a hospital in network and outside of the network plan?
- What treatments are covered by the plan and which are not? (For example, some providers do not cover mental health treatment, chiropractic care, or other therapies related to alternative therapies.)
- If a specialist is required for treatment, how does the referral process work?
- How does coverage work if traveling out of the area?
- Is there a limit to the amount the plan will cover during the course of a year and throughout the lifetime of the policy?
You may have other questions specific to your own families needs so be sure to consider what other things you need to know before choosing a plan. Consider your family’s history of medical care to date. If you generally do not make frequent trips to the hospital and medical care is limited to once-a-year doctor visits, find a policy suitable for that kind of coverage. On the other hand, if medical care is a necessity on an ongoing basis, find a plan that you can afford which covers the most expenses.
Cheaper is Not Always Better
Understand that finding the best insurance plan to cover your family’s health needs may not mean finding the cheapest plan. You will need to weigh the services and benefits more than the premium cost. Focusing only on the cost can lead to problems should a medical situation out of the norm occur.
If you have found you can not afford medical coverage for your family, you may want to consider state and federal assistance programs that can insure your kid’s medical care needs and yours if you are eligible for services until you can get back on your feet.