Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Health Coverage Plan
With 2021 right around the corner, it is the season to roll your sleeves, sort your documents, and choose a health insurance plan for the upcoming year. You never know when the unforeseen circumstances catch you off guard! However, as anyone who has spent some time exploring their options would tell you, it can be too daunting. The pricing policies and information is continually changing. Figuring out a plan that works best for you could pull you at your wits’ end.
According to the information collected by the CPS ASEC and the ACS, the percentage of the US population with health insurance coverage for 2019 was 92 percent. In light of these figures, we can state that the US people (and worldwide) are quite conscious about health coverage plans. The same report also sheds light on how the rate of people without health insurance decreased between 2018 and 2019.
If you, too, plan to initiate or review the health coverage plan of your family – the following are a few things you should consider:
Check the Provider Network
Cant’ imagine leaving your current doctors?
Look if they fall in the coverage loop of your health insurance plan. While checking for favorite doctors in the network, check if the pharmacies and hospitals you prefer to fall in its network. In case your preferences are not in the network, give the new options a chance.
Reach out to the new doctors, pharmacy, or hospital and ask them about their working hours. Study their reviews online and ask around. You can always seek the assistance of the American Medical Association (AMA) for information.
For conditions where you need a specialist who isn’t a part of the network, it may require additional out-of-pocket costs. Most importantly, out-of-pocket costs or out-of-network services may not contribute towards the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum.
Deductibles and Premiums
The monthly premiums of a plan might shock you, but it is crucial to simultaneously scrutinize the plan’s deductibles.
As Louise Norris, health care professional and author of “The Insider’s Guide to Obamacare’s Open Enrollment” says:
“I would caution people to look at all the plans and really think about: Is it worth paying a lower premium or paying a little bit more in order to have much lower out-of-pocket costs if something happens?”
Louise and some other medical professionals firmly believe that a generally healthy family might be okay choosing a high deductible/low premium plan. These people may not use insurance for emergency reasons.
In contrast, a family that is already undergoing challenges due to one or more members’ declining health should also opt for a high deductible/low premium plan. This is because they are likely to hit the deductible and save some money by paying a lower premium.
Tax Credit Qualification
Health insurance might burn a hole in your wallet. But the state or federal government policies might help you. For example, the IRS offers a refundable tax credit to help eligible individuals and families with low to moderate-income get health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is also known as the Exchange.
The tax credit you will receive as a family depends on your income. Those who have low income get a larger credit meant to cover the insurance cost. Meanwhile, people with a higher income may get a small credit if they ever receive it.
Regular Health and Physical Screenings
In case you get regular health or physical screenings for your children, take some time evaluating what the wellness plan covers. You must also examine the points included in preventive care and see if there are any limitations. And while you are on it, find out if baby immunization and examination costs are a component of the plan.
Take a look into the additional services covered by the family health coverage plan. Some examples of other perks include wellness programs and incentives to keep the members away from doctors.
According to the US News and World Report, these may consist of free counseling sessions, a commute to the doctor, legal consultations, and gym memberships.
Keep in mind policies like long-term care insurance and critical illness to look over when evaluating your health insurance options. These are known as supplemental health insurance.
We highly recommend our readers to review each plan’s exclusion list. It ensures you don’t get any surprises when you move ahead with your selected program.
There are many benefits to have a family health insurance plan. It gives you security and brings an assurance you will have support in case of unforeseen circumstances. We recommend our readers to examine the policy documents and compare plans online before purchasing one.
If you find an unexpected yet catchy perk in either of the health insurance plans, don’t forget to let us know!
ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia