Navigating the world of health insurance can be daunting, whether you are trying to choose the best plan or are dealing with a chronic health condition. Educating yourself about the basics of health insurance with these tips is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your policy and that you have the help you need when paying for your health care.
One of the most basic tips about insurance is quite simple: never, ever put yourself in a situation where you have no insurance at all. Even if it means paying extra to your former employer to stay on COBRA, you never want to be without health insurance. Too many contingencies could come up that would very quickly put you in a precarious situation. The same is true for auto insurance: never drive uninsured. It’s against the law in many states, so it isn’t just a bad idea; in many places it is actually a crime.
Vision insurance is a good thing to have if you already have vision problems, or if there are vision problems in your family. The insurance covers a percentage of check ups and eyeglass or contact purchases. This kind of coverage is not mandatory, and those that purchase it, but do not need it, may wind up spending more money than those who don’t get it.
To save money on your health insurance deductible, opt for generic prescriptions. This is especially helpful if your plan does not cover any medications. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as name brand, but they only cost up to pennies on the dollar in comparison. Stop overpaying for your prescription medications.
Consider the pros and cons of the different types of health insurance plans that are available. You will need to research Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Point of Service (POS), Health Savings Account (HSA) and traditional indemnity. Find as much information as possible about each kind before enrolling into the program.
When shopping for health insurance, check to see if your favorite doctors – from general practitioners to specialists – are included in each provider’s network. While some providers will allow you to see out-of-network physicians, you will often pay far more for those visits than you would for visits to in-network practitioners.
When thinking about getting a health insurance plan, not many people think of using a broker to get them the best policy. These brokers can find insurance companies that are well suited to an individual, get the best rates offered, and will be there to explain all the aspects of a particular health plan.
Before you think about going without health insurance, make sure you have a plan for an emergency. Have you thought about what you would do if you became pregnant, broke your leg, or needed surgery? In the long run it is better to have that insurance as a safety net.
As mentioned previously, health insurance can be difficult to understand and to use. Armed with these tips for choosing or using a health care policy, you can take control of your health care knowing that you have the insurance coverage that best fits your lifestyle, health needs and financial situation.