Care Considerations

Some things to keep in mind when choosing health care coverage

Tis’ the season to enroll in a new health care plan. As US News reports, October and November are the two months when most Americans have a shot at changing plans or enrolling in a brand new one. Here are some things to consider if you’re looking to make a change.

  • Premiums. Premiums are an obvious thing to key in on: It’s what you’ll pay each month. However, remember that the lowest cost plan might not be the best. Yes, cost should be a consideration when choosing, but understand that sometimes plans have low premiums because they have high deductibles or a small network. You should consider premiums as just one factor when choosing your plan.
  • Out-of-pocket costs. Every health care plan comes with a certain amount of out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles (how much you pay before the insurance kicks in) and copayments (a flat fee for a specific service). Make sure you understand what these out-of-pocket expenses are before signing up. If you’re confused, call the company and speak to someone about the details.
  • Participating providers. One big thing to consider before switching health care plans is the network. If your doctor doesn’t work with the insurance company you opt for, you’re looking at a much bigger bill.
  • Medication coverage. Every health plan covers prescription medications in some way. The key, of course, is knowing your plan’s details. Make sure that they cover the drugs that you need and, if need be, medications that you might use down the road.
  • Chris O'Shea

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