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.
When it is time for you to update your policy, check your current plan to verify that you still need all the services you are paying for, and that you have enough coverage. Life changes quickly and today’s coverage may not meet your needs due to adding someone to your family. It is best to make needed changes during the open enrollment period for vision and dental insurance as well.
Purchasing insurance on your own often results in higher policy costs compared to group plans offered through an employer. Make compromises by settling for higher deductibles or less coverage. It is always a good idea to get quotes from several different companies, to ensure that you are receiving the best possible deal.
If you need glasses, or if someone in you family does, vision insurance should benefit you. Coverage could include your physical exams as well as portions of the cost for spectacles and contacts. You don’t have to carry vision insurance, so choosing not to get a policy may save some people money.
Each year, check to see which prescriptions are covered. It is common for insurance providers to change the rules from year to year with little warning, so refrain from enrolling for another year until you read the newest policy. Pay careful attention, in particular, to changes in your prescription drug program. It may be time to seek out new insurance if you find that medicines you rely on regularly are suddenly not covered any longer by your plan.
Be aware of your tax credits for health insurance bills. Lots of people don’t understand the premiums that you pay on your health insurance can be deducted off your taxes. You can also include all money paid for prescriptions, your deductible, doctor visits, co-pays and any other non-covered medical expense. Because state and federal tax regulations vary for these deductions, you’ll want to check your state guidelines first.
You can save money by choosing generic drugs, no matter what kind of insurance you have. Studies confirm that no real drop-off in quality occurs when you go to a generic brand. Only in the few cases where there is no generic should you opt for the name brand.
Research different types of health plans, and decide on the one that best fits your needs. Different options that you are going to have are POS, PPO and HMO. Each can be significantly different than the other, so really consider each before deciding. Importantly, double-check that your current doctor is available in the plan you are thinking of using.
If pregnancy is in your future, make sure your insurance plan covers all your expenses. If you don’t focus on this in particular when shopping for a plan, your insurance might not cover every part of pregnancy and labor.
Some employers do not let your spouse ride on your insurance without a spousal surcharge if your spouse’s employer also offers insurance. It is possible that it is simply more affordable with two separate policies, so compare all scenarios.
If you are one of those people that does not go to the doctor too much, your best bet would probably be to start a Health Savings Account (HSA). The money saved to pay deductibles and premiums can be placed in this account to pay for any kind of medical expenses needed.
Group insurance rates are cheaper. Thus, health insurance plans you purchase through your employer will always offer lower rates than individual insurance plans. In order to take advantage of that fact, try to align yourself with a trade or affinity group that provides membership discounts.
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. Going without health insurance is very risky, but you can remedy that at any point in time.