Health insurance is something everyone should consider, especially those who are self-employed or working part time. The cost of health care has increased dramatically over the years, and now it’s even harder to afford medical bills.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, and its goal was to provide affordable healthcare coverage to millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the ACA didn’t go far enough to address rising costs and lack of access to quality care.
With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax code changes under the new administration will affect individuals’ ability to purchase health insurance. This means that buying the right policy might become more important than ever before. Here are some tips that will help you buy the right insurance policy:
Think about what’s predictable about your health
If you’re basically healthy and choosing from one or two plan option through your job, the decision may be pretty simple. You might just ask your colleagues what they like, sign into an online benefit portal, and call it good. But if you’re shopping in the ACA marketplace, the number of choices seems daunting.
First, ask yourself: Do you want insurance for that catastrophic emergency that could happen, or do you already know you have a health problem that requires ongoing care?
Next, ask yourself: Will I use my insurance most often for preventive care, such as checkups and immunizations, or for acute care, like hospitalization?
Finally, ask yourself: How much does my current employer contribute toward my coverage?
Understand what some of the health insurance terms mean
Insurance is confusing enough without having to learn about a bunch of different terminology. But understanding how premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance work together can help you make better decisions about your coverage. Here are some common terms you’ll see on your medical bills and statements, along with definitions that explain why they matter.
Premium – This is the amount you pay each month to cover the cost of your insurance. Premiums vary depending on where you live and what type of policy you buy. You typically pay less for a lower-premium plan because it covers fewer benefits.
Co-pay – Co-pays are the amounts you have to pay out of pocket for certain doctor visits, prescriptions, tests, etc. They usually range anywhere from $5-$30 per visit. Some people choose to pay nothing toward their co-pays while others may opt to pay part of the bill.
Copay – Copays are similar to co-pays except they apply towards prescription drugs. For instance, say you take 10 pills a day for diabetes. If you have a $10 copay, you’d owe $100 over the course of a year. However, if you had a $50 copay, you‘d only pay $50.
Out-of-pocket maximum – Out-of-pocket maxes are the total dollar amount you must spend on medical care before your insurer picks up the tab. Your out-of-pocket maximum varies based on your income level and whether you have supplemental insurance.
Deductible – Deductibles are the amount you have to pay upfront before your insurer pays anything toward covered expenses. Most policies require you to pay a percentage of your annual deductible each month.
Coinsurance – Coinsurances are percentages you have to pay of the actual price of your medications or procedures. For instance, let’s say you go to the dentist and he pulls a tooth. He tells you it’ll cost $1,500. Then, you find out your coinsurance is 50%. So, half of the $1,500 ($750) is paid by you, and the rest is paid by your insurer.
Get trustworthy professional help
If you are having trouble choosing a health insurance plan, your best course of action is to get help from professionals. And when it comes to professional help in Salt Lake City, there’s no better choice than Healthbridge Insurance Solutions. We are SLC’s best healthcare insurance advisors and have years of experience, as well as a long list of people we helped that can prove it. Best of all, our help comes at no cost to you. We give you professional guidance, and help you find the best healthcare solution. You are not obligated to buy anything.