Do not approach health insurance with fear. It is true the field is complex and your options are many, but the more you learn, the safer you will feel. Health insurance is similar to healthcare itself. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By making smart choices when you select health insurance, you can avoid difficulties in the future.
If you just graduated from college, and you need health insurance, you have a couple of different options to think about. If you got a job right out of college, check the health insurance they offer. If you are under the age of 26, you can be on your parents’ insurance and you can always research personal insurance plans, as well.
Many companies offer employee wellness programs that allow employers to save on health insurance. Lots of employers provide incentives to their employees for getting their health analyzed. Signing up for physical fitness programs can help you save money on your insurance premiums and even lower your company’s payments for insurance.
During open enrollment, assess your insurance needs. Just because something worked for you previously, it might not work now, especially if you have different health care needs. Open enrollment offers you the ability to change vision and dental coverage, too, if you have that option.
Vision insurance is wise if you’ve had a history of vision issues in the past, or it’s in your family history. Your coverage should include at least a percentage of the cost of your eye exams as well as a portion of the price of the corrective devices you buy. You are not required to carry vision insurance, and it may be cheaper in the long run to not have this coverage.
Expect your health insurance policy to have loopholes in it. Read your paperwork thoroughly, so you know what your policy covers and what it does not. Some procedures or prescriptions will come with costs that you have to pay up front.
Do not offer up information if someone from a health insurance agency is discussing the application process. Only answer the questions they directly ask you. If you give them more information than they have asked for, they will note it in their files and could take what they have learned to charge you more for your premiums or remove your coverage all together.
Regardless of the type of health insurance you have, you’ll save a lot of money by opting for generic drugs over their name brand equivalent. Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as brand name medications, and are available for most prescription medications.
Remember that each state regulates the private insurance companies under its own jurisdiction, so interstate commerce laws prevent private insurance from being sold to you in one state if you live in another. One consequence of this is that coverage may be reduced or nonexistent if you receive care outside your home state. Ask your insurer what the rules are for you, and invest in travel insurance if you plan to leave your home state.
Talk to all your health care providers before changing insurance companies. Some doctors may not accept your new insurance. You should be able to find a list of hospitals and doctors who accept the insurance you are interested in.
Don’t wait until you get sick to discover exactly what your health insurance policy does and doesn’t cover. Be prepared before you need your insurance by making sure that you fully understand your policy and what options you have. Living your life with bad health insurance isn’t good. However, you can fix this problem whenever you want, so do it now!