While we know that the price of health insurance has skyrocketed in the past years, we also know that being caught without one can lead to dire consequences especially since the cost of health care has and is still continuing to soar. If you have to pay thousands of dollars in premiums, then the best thing you should do is to get to know your policy much better. Here are some of the features of any health insurance policy which you ought to familiarize yourself with:
The deductible, just like in life insurance and auto insurance, is the amount which you have to pay before your insurer will pay the rest of your medical expenses. In a nutshell, your deductible is the amount which you have to fork over which comes from your own pocket. Some insurance companies are very strict with you settling your deductible first before they fulfill their end of the bargain. Most exceptions only come in the form of routine office visits. Obviously, go for the plan which offers the lowest deductible.
The deductible isn’t the only amount which you need to settle. After you pay for your deductible, your insurance company will only pay a portion of your medical expenses which means that there’s a remaining amount which hasn’t been paid up yet. This amount is known as the coinsurance and you will be responsible for paying for this. The value of your coinsurance can skyrocket if you’re not vigilant enough. To protect yourself from racking up exorbitant coinsurance expenses, your policy should carry an out-of-pocket maximum clause which limits the amount of coinsurance you’ll be required to pay for any given year.
Group vs Individual Plans
When talking to your agent, chances are that he or she will mention group and individual policies. If you’re on a tight budget, group policies are the way to go because you get to save a lot on premiums. Individual policies may allow you to take out a policy which is tailored specifically to your needs, but they often come with expensive premiums.
When shopping for policies, buyers often gravitate towards the ones with the cheapest premiums. But this isn’t always a good thing. Most of the policies with cheap premiums require high deductibles and do not provide safeguards such as out-of-pocket maximum clauses. Before picking out an insurance provider, looking up health insurance comparisons online can help you to make sound decisions when you’re in front of an agent.
Brian Foster is an Insurance Underwriter for 20 years who provides tips and great insights about health insurance comparison