Regardless of where you stand on the hot-button issue of health care, there’s no denying the fact that medical costs are through the roof and decent coverage is perhaps harder than ever to come by.
That doesn’t stop the fact that having health insurance is not only required by law but also represents a long-term investment in your health and wealth. After all, without insurance, you’re only one accident or emergency away from financial peril.
This puts young people between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their coverage. This is especially true for those who consider themselves to be traditionally healthy but wonder what they’d do in the case of a “what-if” scenario.
If you’ve never sought out coverage before or are currently unsatisfied with your parents’ or employer’s health care plans, what exactly should look out for? Consider the following four points when choosing the right healthcare coverage for you.
Does It Cover Your Prescriptions?
Whether you take long-term maintenance medication or have a preexisting condition, it’s crucial that determine what tier your medication falls under, if it’s covered by your plan and how much it’ll ultimately cost. Many people find themselves shocked when switching plans and their once $4 medication now costs $50.
Meanwhile, also consider how you can scour the web for deals on your medicine. You can find discounts online for Xarelto and other can’t-miss maintenance medicines which likewise keep more cash in your pocket.
Do You Know Which Type of Coverage You Need?
Not all health coverage is created equal. When seeking insurance, make it a point to figure out which type of plan you’re looking at before blindly signing up for something that doesn’t make sense for your situation. For example, compare and contrast PPOs versus HMOs and health savings accounts: if you don’t frequently visit the doctor, such details might not be a big deal to you.
What’s Your Deductible?
Low deductibles are great news; however, don’t fall prey to paying too much for a low deductible if you’re a relatively healthy person. If you don’t have any maintenance medications or preexisting conditions, you may find yourself paying big money for a deductible that you’ll never actually meet. Those who only go to the doctor once a year for a check-up and are otherwise healthy would be better off paying for a lower premium plan with a higher deductible.
On the flip side, those who do regularly visit the doctors and expect to regularly find themselves in the patient’s chair should spring for a lower deductible plan. When in doubt, simply look at your medical history to see how much you’ve spent in the past on medical coverage to ensure you’re making the right decision by the numbers.
What Does Your Network Look Like?
Those who already have an established relationship with their doctors and specialists must confirm that their preferred physicians are within their coverage network.
Sometimes it might be worth it to pay slightly more on your plan so that you don’t have to hunt for a new doctor and restart the process of building that ever-so-important relationship. Likewise, out-of-network pharmacies can cost you an arm and a leg: most insurance companies have websites that allow you double-check this information before you spend a dime.
Healthcare is inherently complicated and oftentimes expensive. With these considerations in mind, you can pick the plan that makes sense for you and your particular needs.