Buying health insurance can be a complicated process that involves technical terms, insurance jargon, and confusion.
If you’re considering buying a health insurance plan for the first time and don’t know where to start, this article is for you. To make this process easier, we’ve gathered a list of 12 important things you should know before buying health insurance.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Health insurance is a way of cutting down on your health expenses and having a financial back-up whenever facing a medical need. You must know about all the benefits included in the plan before purchasing. Making sure you have a complete understanding of your benefits or “inclusions” is the best way to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. It is also essential to know which benefits are not included in a health insurance plan because you will not be able to make a claim against those benefits later.
Health Insurance Company
Choosing the right insurance company, or carrier, is one of the most important things to know before buying health insurance. With numerous options available to choose from, it can get overwhelming to make the right decision. Fortunately, the the team at Find The Plan has made it easier to compare different plans in terms of their benefits and costs and help you choose one that works best for you. Selecting an insurer that has an easy claim process, provides continuous customer support and is considerate of your needs should be of prime importance.
Insurance and Your Budget
While we purchase health insurance to get help with our healthcare expenses, we still need to pay to secure a health insurance plan for us. Knowing the cost of health insurance and if that cost aligns with your budget is vital before buying health insurance.
Following are the things you need to know about your plan to get an estimated budget:
- Deductible is the out-of-pocket amount you will need to pay before you start getting paid by your insurance company in a year.
- A copay is a fixed amount you will need to pay while getting a specific type of healthcare. This amount will stay the same, no matter the cost of your medical service.
- Coinsurance is a percentage of the cost you will need to pay on each doctor’s visit. For example, if your coinsurance is 20%, you will need to pay $80 if your visit costs $400.
The Waiting Period for Filing a Claim
Different health insurance plans have different waiting periods before you can file for a health claim. This waiting period can vary from a few days to a few months and applies to maternity benefits and pre-existing illnesses. If you have a medical condition that needs immediate attention, you should choose a plan with the shortest waiting period.
Specific Illnesses and Treatments
Health insurance plans have a policy of waiting for a certain period before providing coverage for some specific illnesses and treatments. Knowing about these particular ailments and treatments and the duration you will need to wait before getting coverage is another crucial thing to consider before buying health insurance.
Treatment for Mental Health Conditions
Mental health is equally as important as physical health, which is why most health insurance plans include treatment for mental health conditions along with physical illnesses. Make sure the health insurance you are choosing covers psychological diseases, especially if you are suffering from one.
Cost Limit on Hospital Admission
Health insurance policies have a room rent limit. If you need to stay in a room for more than the allowed time, the rent costs can be high. This might not seem a significant consideration when choosing health insurance. Still, it can result in substantial out-of-pocket costs if ignored.
Health insurance plans offer add-on coverages that provide additional benefits. You can choose these add-on coverages according to your needs to make your health insurance more customizable. However, these add-on coverages will also cost you extra in addition to your basic monthly premium.
The Co-Payment Policy
Health insurance plans have a co-payment clause that defines a percentage of the amount the policyholder is bound to pay out of the total hospital bill. These policies are primarily easy on your pocket, but they can cost you more in terms of out-of-pocket expenses. Study this clause in detail to make sure what your plan is offering before you make a final decision.
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Hospital and Doctors Network
If the insurer you choose has a vast network of hospitals and doctors, you will get more options to get cashless treatment. Make sure you check their list of available hospitals and doctors to see if your preferred doctor or hospital is available. In addition, health insurance providers with wider networks will also result in less expenditure on medical treatment.
Pre and Post Hospitalization Bills
Hospital care is not just the period you spend admitted to a hospital. It also includes medical care before and after your hospital stay. Pre-hospitalization expenses include diagnostic tests, screening procedures, prescription medication, etc. Post-hospitalization expenditures include certain medications, follow-ups test, and continuous care that might follow 45 to 90 days after the discharge from the hospital. Look closely to see if your health insurance plan covers these expenses.
Day Care Procedures
Many medical procedures, like cataract surgery, tonsillectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc., are performed within less than a day and are known as daycare procedures. Know if your health insurance covers such procedures. Furthermore, see their policy in case you need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Buying health insurance is a vital decision for your health and finances. Choosing the right insurance is not always easy due to the multiple options and individual needs. Make sure you study all the essential factors of health insurance before making a final decision.