How to choose your health insurance plan in 15 minutes or less

Finding the right health insurance can seem daunting. You have lots of options and the insurance jargon can be off-putting, to say the least. But it is possible to find the right health insurance in the same time that it takes you to drink a cup of coffee and eat a doughnut – although you probably want to swap the doughnut to a healthy salad!

Identify your healthcare needs

Start by taking a few minutes to identify your current and possible future health care needs. You need to do this to understand what kind of healthcare costs you have now and what might be waiting for you in the future.

If you already have health insurance, you want to look at the costs, especially in terms of any deductibles you had to pay. Did you have to pay any or not? Write this number down to guide you because it gives you a good indication of your basic needs.

In addition, you want to consider your average needs right now and in the future. Think about how often you go to see a doctor or if you already have an underlying condition. You should also think about any medication you might use. This gives you a good idea of how much you will be using different healthcare services and if you need the insurer to cover any underlying condition.

Think a bit about the future as well. You can’t ever know what might happen in the future, but you can use certain things as a predictor. For example, are you an active and healthy person who regularly exercises and eats healthy? Do you have a family history of specific conditions?

Women would also want to think about things like family planning. Do you think you’ll be trying for a baby soon? These things should then be covered by your plan.

Decide ifyou want the same doctor or not

If you have a specific doctor you’re already seeing, you have to figure out if you want to keep them or not. Certain health insurance companies only work with specific medical facilities and it’s important to know this before choosing your policy. You can always ask your doctor, whether they have restrictions.

In addition, you should also think if you are looking to use specific healthcare providers or if you want to choose where you go in general. Even if changing a doctor doesn’t bother you, you still need to know which medical facilities are part of your plan and which might be not – or if you even care about this.

Browse and compare plans

You should then visit a website that compares different health insurance companies and start browsing for policies. You will now have an idea of what you need from your health insurance plan and whether you want treatment with specific healthcare providers.

The next important thing to compare is the cost. It’s important to focus on two things. First, consider the monthly premium and how you are able to manage it. Please note that smaller premiums can lead to higher deductibles.

Indeed, the second important thing to factor in is the risk assessment. This is a calculation of the worst-case scenario. You can get it by adding the out-of-pocket maximum to your annual premium. The out-of-pocket sum is the money you’d have to pay after you’ve hit your deductible limit.

Compare these two figures and outcomes and pick the insurance plan that best fits your current financial status. The bottom line is this: would I be able to pay a higher monthly premium to ensure I don’t have a high risk of paying a lot at once in a medical emergency or the other way around?

Talk to your employer

Finally, since health insurance is mandatory and often provided by your employer, it can be a good idea to talk to them. They might contribute to specific health insurance plans and not others. This can help you with your premiums and deductibles – so ask the HR for more information.

Picking the right health insurance isn’t that difficult if you just know what to look for. So use the above tips and you’ll have your health insurance sorted in no time.