How do I compare health insurance?

January 15, 2016

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Lauren
Lead Copywriter

 

 

When you’re shopping for insurance, there are two things you should know first:

  • Health insurance plans are the same price anywhere you go. It’s illegal to change the price. The only place you can get a discount (subsidies) is through HealthCare.gov
  • Plans that you qualify for are based off your date of birth, zip code and if you use any tobacco products.

Ok. Now that we’ve got that out of our way, let’s compare plans!

When you’re perusing plans, pay close attention to:

-The monthly cost of your plan (otherwise known as your premium).
-Your co-pay amounts (the amount you pay for each doctor or specialist visit).
-You co-insurance amounts (the percentage of your medical bills your carrier pays AFTER you’ve reached your deductible.)
-The deductible (the amount you pay for medical expenses until your insurance picks up the tab).
-The out-of-pocket-max (the most you will pay for your health expenses in a year).

Example: You have diabetes that requires regular doctor visits and blood work. You’re looking at three plans to purchase. Plan #1 has a $300 monthly cost, $35 doctor co-pay, a $5,000 deductible and a $6,850 out-of-pocket max cost. Plan #2 has a $400 monthly cost, $35 co-pay, $3,000 deductible and a $6,850 out-of-pocket-max cost. Plan #3 has a $500 monthly payment, $25 co-pay, $1,500 deductible and a $6,850 out-of-pocket-max.

Which plan is best for you? 

If you can afford the monthly premium of Plan #3, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. A high-premium, low-deductible plan is good for someone who has chronic health issues.

On the reverse, Plan #1, a low-premium, high-deductible plan, is better for someone who plans on going to the doctor very little.

We know this can be confusing, so that’s why we’re here to help!