Get the Lowdown on Health Insurance: How to Find the Best Coverage for You
Health insurance premiums have steadily been increasing over the past few years, and if you’re looking to start or extend your health insurance coverage, you may be in for quite the sticker shock.
To get the best deal possible on health insurance, it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying and how to choose the right plan. Here are some tips on how to get health insurance that meets your specific needs and goals.
What Is Health Insurance?
There are several types of health insurance you can choose from, including short-term and long-term, as well as limited or guaranteed renewable contracts.
But before you look into what type of coverage will best meet your needs and budget, there are several things you should understand about how they work. Here is a brief guide to get you started. What Is Short-Term Health Insurance?:
Short-term health insurance plans provide affordable coverage in case of an unexpected illness or injury. These plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, so it’s important to purchase one right away if you think you might need it in future.
Short term plans last anywhere between two weeks and 12 months, but some states require that they be renewed annually (in which case they become a hybrid between short term and long term). In any case, these policies must be renewed every year by paying another premium. If not, they lapse immediately.
What Is Not Covered By My Policy?
If you’re in a day-to-day job, you may be covered by your employer’s plan.
However, if you’re self-employed or start a side gig and want health insurance as well, you’ll likely need to find coverage that can work with whatever existing plan you have.
Your biggest question will be what types of medical procedures are not covered under your policy. For example, some plans won’t cover anything related to tobacco use—at all—while others may limit smoking-related treatment options.
It’s important to find out if there are any other situations where costs could arise outside of typical doctor visits or prescription purchases before picking a plan. Knowing up front is better than getting stuck with unexpected bills down the road.
Tips For Getting The Right Coverage
If you’re going to buy health insurance, you want it to cover what you need and not cost a fortune. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself from exorbitant health-care costs.
Your best bet is comparing plans available through your employer with similar options available in your area—be sure your health-insurance plan covers common treatments for any chronic conditions you have and make sure your prescription drugs will be covered by whatever plan you choose.
Another option is shopping around online or using an independent broker—you can compare coverage at these sites without having an account at a specific insurance company. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t understand something about your health-insurance plan, ask someone who does.
That way, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for something that should be covered by your insurance.
When Should I Buy Life Insurance?
Everyone needs life insurance, even if you don’t think you need it. Life insurance is a great way to prepare financially for your family and protect them in case something happens to you.
Getting life insurance is relatively easy, but there are many factors that can impact how much coverage you need and where you should get it.
Most people tend to procrastinate when purchasing life insurance, often because they feel overwhelmed by all of their options or simply because they don’t know where to start.
Here are some steps that can help simplify your decision-making process so that choosing life insurance becomes a much easier endeavor than expected. To start your journey towards finding the right policy, ask yourself these three questions:
1) What kind of policy do I want?
2) Where do I want to buy my policy?
3) When should I buy my policy?
Making sure you have coverage through your employer
The most common source of health insurance is through your employer.
Employer-sponsored plans offer a variety of options, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and point-of-service (POS) plans. It’s smart to compare each option with other plans in your area, as they all have different benefits, deductibles and copays; you want a plan that fits with your lifestyle.
Your employer can provide you with more information about its specific offerings or even help you enroll directly in one of them; some companies now even contribute toward your premium costs or cover part of a deductible if you select one of their listed options. If you don’t get coverage through work, read on for other options.
Figuring out if you can afford it or not
The first step in deciding if you can afford health insurance is looking at your current financial situation.
Are you living paycheck-to-paycheck? Are you eating Top Ramen every night? Do you not know where your next tank of gas is coming from? If so, then it’s probably safe to say that healthcare costs are not a good investment for you right now.
The other thing to consider before purchasing health insurance is how much extra money do I have lying around? Right now, are you already spending everything extra paycheck on extravagant expenses like new clothes or dinner and drinks out?
Or do you have money left over and some wiggle room in case a medical emergency comes up? These are all important questions when figuring out if healthcare coverage is worth it for your situation.
Now what do I do?
Now that you know what insurance policy is best for you, it’s time to take action.
Here are five tips from one insurance agency owner who has offered up his suggestions before, and whose words are still applicable today: If you can afford it and want it, just do it. If not, wait until you have some extra cash or a job (that offers health benefits). If you don’t need [health coverage], then don’t get health insurance.
It’s as simple as that. Otherwise, your premiums will pay someone else’s doctor bills when they could be paying yours instead. Don’t let anyone talk you into buying something you don’t need.
Don’t buy based on price alone; make sure it’s right for you. When in doubt, ask questions! Get answers and compare policies before making any final decisions about which plan to choose.