If you are in the process of shopping for health insurance plans, there are few things that you should know before you make any major decisions. You want to know all of the different options that are available to you and what kinds of discounts you may qualify for. Here are a few pointers to help you choose the best health insurance plan.
- Choose a plan based on your particular health conditions. Generally speaking, there are 4 different main types of plans under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. With a bronze plan, 60% of your costs will be covered by your monthly health insurance premiums, and the other 40% will be paid out of pocket should you need to go to the doctor or buy any prescription medications. From there, each metal shifts those costs by 10%. If bronze is 60/40, silver is 70/30, gold is 80/20 and platinum is 90/10. If you have any serious conditions that require you to make frequent doctors visits and take several medications, then you definitely want a gold or platinum plan. If you’re in good health, you probably want to consider bronze or silver.
- Determine if you qualify for catastrophic medical coverage. Typically speaking, bronze is the least amount of coverage that you can pay for without needing to pay the Obamacare individual mandate insurance penalty when you file your federal taxes at the end of the year. However, if you are under 30 years old and enduring considerable hardship, you may qualify for Catastrophic coverage, meaning that you will pay less than 60% per month in premiums, but will make up for it by paying more than 40% of the cost out of pocket in the event that you need medical attention.
- Determine if you qualify for lower out of pocket expenses. The silver plan is the only plan in which you can qualify for lower out of pocket expenses. This is dependent upon your annual income and employment status, but if you do qualify, then you could find yourself paying a silver monthly premium, however your out of pocket expenses would reflect that of someone who pays gold or even platinum premiums. This means you could be saving 10-20% on your healthcare costs.
- Determine whether or not you want access to alternative medicines. Aside from all of the main pricing tiers that are available for each plan, there are the little differences that change from one provider to the other. Some providers will give you access to chiropractic services under your plan, but not acupuncture, and vice versa. If you are interested in receiving access to alternative medicine or practices through your plan, it’s important to look closely from one provider to the other to determine which one offers the services you prefer.
- Determine whether or not you will need supplemental health insurance. Sometimes you may find that the expenses covered by your monthly premiums just aren’t enough to get you the care that you need, and those extra out of pocket costs just aren’t feasible. If this is the case for you, you may qualify for supplemental health insurance to help pay your deductible, unexpected child costs, private room fees and more.