Use these tips to shop and compare health plans for you and your family:
Tip #1: Know what coverage you already have
Tip #2: Consider your health care needs
Think about the state of your health and how you used insurance benefits last year. That will help you shop for the right plan to get the best coverage possible for the coming year.
Tip #3: Check your physician’s plan status
Before selecting a plan, verify that your doctor and hospital of choice are included in its network of providers. If not, you’ll pay significantly more for their services.
Tip #4: Factor in all costs
The cost of a health plan includes more than just the monthly premium. Don’t forget to factor in out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
Tip #5: Consider a high-deductible health plan
Since you’re responsible for more out-of-pocket medical costs, high deductible health plans come with lower premiums. Additionally, having one makes you eligible for a health savings account (HSA), which helps you save and pay for future medical expenses on a tax-free basis.
Tip #6: Don’t wait until the last minute
Give yourself plenty of time to shop and compare plans. Waiting until the bitter end of open enrollment is a bad move because you may not get the help you need or make a bad, hasty decision. Remember that unless you experience a qualifying event (such as getting married, divorced, or having a child) you can’t change your plan until the next annual open enrollment period.
By Laura Adams
See full story at www.thestreet.com