October is known nationwide as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with one in eight women around the country under threat from this insidious disease, we thought now would be the perfect time to remind folks how to find the right health insurance plan at a reasonable cost. Here are six general tips on finding effective healthcare – one that will ideally help you to both prevent disease and avoid overwhelming debt should any medical emergencies arise.
1) Look over health insurance rankings
Fortunately, there are rankings of health insurance plans around the country. Among other sites, check out Consumer Reports, the National Committee of Quality Assurance and J.D. Power for their healthcare rankings and recommendations.
2) Look into Flexible Spending and/or Health Savings Accounts
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) enables you to contribute money from your paycheck to a special pretax fund that can be used for eligible healthcare expenses. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) also takes contributions pretax that can be used for certain medical expenses, and allows you to carry over unused funds into the next year. Both can help you save substantial sums of money on medical costs.
3) Find out if your preferred physicians are covered by your plan
Do you have physicians that you especially respect and trust? Before selecting any health insurance plan, study a list of its in-network providers to see if these physicians are covered by the plan. Otherwise, you will either have to pay more money with every visit to these physicians – or forgo their care entirely.
4) Learn the exact dollar amounts for premiums, co-pay, deductible, and annual maximum
Your premium is the amount of money you are paying for your health insurance coverage every month or quarter, your deductible is the amount you pay each year before the insurance company begins to pay anything, your co-pay is an amount you have to pay for certain types of care, and your annual “out-of-pocket” maximum is the most you will have to pay in the calendar year for medical care. It’s not an easy task, but finding the right balance between these costs is an absolute must when it comes to choosing the right health insurance plan, or you may find yourself paying much, much more than you expected to by the end of the year.
5) Consider your immediate health care needs
Maybe you have important medical tests or screening procedures coming up, prescription drugs you need refilled, or pregnancy and maternity issues on the horizon. Thinking through in advance what you need – and finding out the degree to which a health insurance plan covers these needs – is absolutely essential.
6) If you have children, make sure you take them into account
When it comes to health insurance nowadays, the term “children” applies to both young and old offspring. Specifically, children under 26 without health insurance can potentially join your plan, and so you must take their medical needs into account when you search for the right healthcare plan.
The bottom line is that health insurance is one of those “must-have” purchases, and one we hope you diligently shop for so you may protect the health and well-being of yourself and your loved ones. And if you’re looking to get cash now in exchange for all or just a portion of your future structured settlement or annuity payments, please give our company a call at 877-227-4713.