Choosing a health insurance plan can be really exhausting. This is especially true if it is your first time with health insurance. Nonetheless, there are a few parameters that you can consider to compare different health insurance policies and choose the one that best suits your needs.
The first thing that you’ll likely consider is whether the health insurance policy will be budget friendly for you or not. You need to consider the costs you are likely to incur and costs which will be covered by the health insurance plan. Check the cost of premiums, deductibles, etc. Also see the charges you’ll be paying for staying at the hospital or visiting a doctor. Check for yearly limitations on out-of-pocket payments for medical services. Be aware of all the coverage rules that are likely to affect the costs you may incur.
You need to know all the services that are covered by your plan and their suitability with you needs. Different plans cover different services. Some plans also have the option to add on other supplemental plans to expand the coverage of services. For e.g., you can take up Medicare Supplemental plans with an Original Medicare plan to help you pay for those out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by the main plan.
First consider your requirement for a prescription drug plan. If you require one, then check for its costs under each plan, and over all reviews. Also check whether the drug prescribed to you falls under the formulary of your prescription plan. Be aware of any rules that you may need to know to get yourself enrolled in a prescription drug plan.
If you consider buying Original Medicare then you’ll have to buy a Prescription Drug Plan separately to avail drug coverage. If you choose to buy Medicare Advantage plan then drug coverage may be included in the plan. If not so, then you can also join a separate Prescription Drug plan.
Doctor and hospital choice
You need to check if the doctor you are already seeing or other doctor of your choice accepts your chosen plan. You also need to see if certain plans call for you to see only those doctors who are participating in their network.
For e.g., an individual enrolled for an Original Medicare Plan can see any doctor who accepts the plan. However, individuals enrolled with Medicare Advantage Plan can only take services of health care providers who belong to their plan’s network. In the latter scenario, you should check the feasibility of the options like checking the proximity of these health care providers and pharmacies to your house.
Quality of care
The quality of services provided by every plan may differ. Your satisfaction with the medical care provided by your insurance plan is a must. It can be tough to check qualities of different plans when you haven’t used any. To take care of this parameter, you can always check reviews of the existing or previous users of various health plans on the quality of care and services provided by them.
Consider plans that provide health insurance even when you travel abroad. Original Medicare doesn’t usually cover overseas travel insurance. However, Medicare Supplemental Plans do cover travel insurance too. Even Medicare Advantage Plans don’t cover health services when you travel overseas.