Choosing the right health insurance plan can be quite daunting. As a TV/Screenwriter I always say, “If it does not have dialogue and is not written in script form, it might as well be written in Greek.” Figuring out health insurance plans is not my idea of fun, especially if there is no one kissing in the end or a bad guy getting caught. I do not even know the difference between a deductible and an out of pocket maximum so I decided to talk to a health care professional to help clear things up for me.
• Deductible – The amount you must pay each year for your medical expenses before your insurance policy starts paying.
• Out of Pocket Maximums - A predetermined limited amount of money that an individual must pay out of their own pocket, before an insurance company will pay 100% for an individual’s health care expense.
To me, the above definitions vaguely resemble a flashcard from my SATs. (At least that’s how I read it, again, no dialogue…) The professional broke it down further; you may have a $2000 deductible but your out of pocket maximum could be $3000. Which means once you hit the $2000 deductible then you may have co-pays or co-insurance that you would keep paying until you hit that $3000. Once you meet the $3000, in most cases, the health insurer will cover medical expenses at 100%.
There are many options and benefits to consider when deciding on a plan. Obviously, the cost of the plan is going to be a huge factor. Health insurance rates have been climbing year after year, so finding a balance between having solid coverage and the cost you are going to have to pay for the insurance plan is important. In general, the higher the deductible and out of pocket maximums, the lower the rate. Here are some questions to ask yourself during the selection process, your answers will have an effect on the rates.
*How much can I afford to pay each month for coverage?
*How often do I go to the doctor?
*How much of a deductible can I afford?
*What co-pay level is most comfortable for me $20, $30, $40?
*How much hospitalization coverage do I need?
*Do I need a plan with maternity coverage?
*Do I want a plan that covers brand name prescription drugs or will a generic only plan work for me?
Health insurance doesn’t have to be overwhelming and there is plenty of help out there. If you know which health insurer you want to use, you can contact them directly to answer any questions. You can also find a health insurance broker who is familiar with a variety of plans from different carriers to help make your decision easier. Either way, someone like me can choose the right plan to fit my needs.
Visit United Health Care for affordable options.