Selecting your health insurance provider can be one of the trickiest responsibilities you’ll ever face. Knowing what to look for can help you in choosing a health insurance plan that will meet all your needs and preferences. While there aren’t any specific guidelines for choosing a health care provider, you can still figure out which would be best for you by prioritizing certain aspects that boost your health and save money.
1. Look at the Providers in the Network
When choosing a health insurance plan, you’re limited to the health care providers in that health care network — unless you want to pay a lot of money for going out of the network of providers. When you can pick your provider, try to find one that includes professionals you approve of.
You can ask trusted loved ones about their providers and who they would recommend if you’re new to the area. If you’ve lived there for a while, you should be able to know which professionals you prefer and which you want to stay away from, so make sure your health insurance plan reflects your preferences. Take reviews seriously and find something that works well for you.
2. Understand How They Cover Prescription Drugs
If you have any current prescription medications, you must look into each potential health insurance plan and ensure they cover what you need. Ask for the plan’s list of covered drugs, if necessary. You may find generic drugs have lower prices than name-brand ones and it can help you decide whether this provider is worth going with.
Occasionally, you might need prescriptions covered. You should know whether your health insurance provider will cover more or less of what you’re used to under your new insurance plan. Knowing the price of your vital prescriptions might help you narrow down your choices and help you find a health insurance provider that’s perfect for you.
3. Consider the Medicare Star Rating
The Medicare Star Rating is a great way to weigh certain insurance providers against one another. If you’re torn between two, check out their score — it might change your mind. These ratings measure the quality of service a provider can give you, and since they’re evaluated every year, you can trust them as an excellent example of which providers to prioritize.
High-ranking plans have incentives to maintain their higher ranking, which creates better customer service for you. While it shouldn’t be the only determining factor, you should consider it when choosing a health insurance plan.
4. Think About the Deductible
Every month, you’ll pay a premium on your insurance, which helps cover you when you need it later. While your premium is a constant, you should also consider the deductible. You’ll have a deductible on some prescription medications, visits to the hospital and more. Factor the deductible into your decision, as the premium is only half of your health insurance.
What might help you decide is choosing whether you want a higher premium or deductible. If you’re young and in good health with no prescription medications, you might opt for a higher deductible because you want to save money on the premium and don’t anticipate having to pay a deductible often.
If you’re more financially settled, you could pick the higher premium, as you want to ensure you’re covered if something happens. The guidelines for choosing a health care provider are different for everyone, so you should talk to people you trust and make a decision that reflects you.
5. Research Uncommon Perks
Sometimes, certain health insurance providers provide perks for people who opt for them. Some health insurance plans offer wellness opportunities and other incentives to ensure you care for your health as you should. When choosing a health insurance plan, look into the perks you can receive just by subscribing to that plan. Some wellness benefits can include gym memberships, which you can use to further your wellness goals via listening to your body with yoga and meditation or lifting weights and bulking up.
Take Care in Choosing a Health Insurance Plan
Choosing a health insurance plan can be difficult, especially when you feel like so many options might be right for you. The trick is to know what to look for. Once you know what you need to prioritize and what’s most relevant to your life, you can follow your guidelines for choosing a health care provider that works best for you.
You must read the fine print of any health insurance plan. The best way to know what’s covered under your plan is to read everything you can about it, then contact the company and ask any questions afterward. Though it might take a lot of effort, it’ll be worth it when you know you’ll have coverage for the things most important to you.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.