How Do I Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan?To find the best health insurance for your (or your family’s) needs, take these steps:
- Choose between the major four types of health insurance plans.
- Review networks for your doctors and pharmacies.
- Compare monthly and out-of-pocket costs.
- Compare benefits between your remaining choices.
What Are the Four Major Types of Health Insurance Plans?
There are four major types of health insurance plans:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO):1 You will have to choose an in-network primary care physician, who will refer you to specialists, if needed. You will likely receive no (or limited) coverage for out-of-network providers.
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO):2 You do not need a primary care physician, and you will receive the most coverage when using in-network providers. You will receive coverage with out-of-network providers, but it will cost you more out of pocket.
- Point of Service (POS):3 You will have to choose an in-network primary care physician, who will refer you to specialists, if needed. If you visit an out-of-network provider, you will pay most of the cost.
- Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO):4 You do not need a primary care physician, but you will only receive coverage with in-network providers.
Why Do Networks Matter?
Being in-network often means that your expenses may be lower because insurance companies have made an agreement with that location. You may want to keep your regular physician or pharmacy in your network, or you risk paying higher out-of-network costs. If you aren’t worried about paying more or finding new doctors, this step may not be as important to you.
How Much Does Good Health Insurance Cost?
Regular monthly costs, like the plan premium, are not the only thing you should consider. The plan’s annual deductible will be coming straight out of your wallet, so make sure you aren’t choosing an inexpensive plan with an unaffordable deductible. You’ll also want to compare different plans’ copays and coinsurance amounts. These are regular costs you’ll be paying when visiting a doctor or picking up a prescription.
Find the Benefits that Matter to You
This final step may help finalize your narrowed list. Plans will vary on how much they provide toward a given service or product. Reviewing each plan’s benefits helps you find the best health insurance plan for you or your family because you can tailor your choice to your needs. Now is the time to make sure your medications are covered and benefits you need often will be affordable.
HealthMarkets Can Help You Find the Best Health Insurance
HealthMarkets makes it easy for you to find quality health insurance. Our licensed agents can help you search and compare plans from nationally recognized companies to find you the best health insurance. Contact us for a free quote.
1. “Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).” HealthCare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/health-maintenance-organization-hmo/. Assessed 1/26/21.
2. “Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).” HealthCare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/preferred-provider-organization-ppo/. Assessed 1/26/21.
3. “Point of Service (POS) Plans.” HealthCare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/point-of-service-plan-pos-plan/. Assessed 1/26/21.
4. “Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) Plan.” Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/exclusive-provider-organization-epo-plan/. Assessed 1/26/21.