Unlike home or auto insurance, there’s no way to place a value on your health and the health of your family. Which is why many people often find themselves asking, ‘How much health insurance do I need?’
Before America’s first public health insurance marketplace was created by Obama’s Affordable Care Act, it was really hard to compare plans. These days, however, shopping for policies is a lot easier. The steps listed below should help you find the right coverage:
- Assess Your Risk: Do this by asking yourself questions like: Are my lifestyle choices unhealthy or how’s my overall health?
- Figure Out Your Health Care Consumption: Calculate your total copays for doctor visits and specialty/urgent care, lab tests, prescription drugs, etc., in the last year.
- Survey Your Options: If you opt for employer health insurance, make sure you fully understand the plans offered. You don’t want to sign up and find that visits to your family doctor aren’t covered by the plan you chose. If you’d like to check more options, compare individual plans offered by private insurance companies.
- Identify Priorities: If you suffer from a chronic health condition, lower deductibles and copays or lower premiums may matter more. Consider if you can benefit from a high-deductible plan. You don’t want to have a low deductible and overpay for premiums.
- Find The Right Fit: Once you’ve narrowed down the options, closely compare the details of different plans to see which plan is most likely to meet your needs. Make sure to pick one that offers good value.
- Get Another Opinion: For a first-time purchase, asking an insurance agent for their advice might be a good idea. This will help you make sure you’re on the right track before signing on for coverage.
Typically, employer-sponsored group plans cost less than individual insurance policies because the employer pays part or all of the premium. However, insurers tend to hedge their risk by offering cost-sharing contracts with little or no customization, so sometimes the only thing you may get to choose is how many people you can add as dependents.
Whichever route you decide to take, make sure the plan you invest in offers enough coverage to help you and your family deal with unexpected illnesses or accidents or manage chronic health conditions without having to pay astronomical healthcare bills.