Health insurance is a complex and confusing subject, to say the least. With President Donald Trump threatening to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, many Americans remain in a state of uncertainty and disillusion. If you are going to purchase health insurance within the next year, it’s imperative to be educated on the subject matter and fully understand what kind of coverage you’re getting. Here are five important things to look out for when buying an insurance plan.
Premiums vs. Deductibles
A premium refers to the monthly price of your plan, while a deductible refers to the annual cost of the plan, which is usually charged on the 1st of January. Americans typically look at the price of a premium and choose the lowest one, while completely ignoring the deductible. It’s really crucial to consider both elements, because you may be drawn to a cheap premium but get stuck with a costly deductible. Always make sure to read the fine print and ask as many questions as possible to ensure everything’s completely understood.
Many Americans overlook the section regarding dental coverage when they’re purchasing health insurance, which can result in a financial loss down the line. Once again, it’s encouraged to read the fine print of your plan, to see if you’re partially or fully covered for dental care. This means if you’re in need of a tooth extraction or an oral surgery procedure, you’ll be forced to pay out of your pocket. Some procedures can cost tens of thousands of dollars, meaning your bank account will really feel the damage.
Out-of-network coverage is a little confusing, so let’s break it down one step at a time. Insurance companies typically use a network of health care professionals, meaning if your child has to visit a pediatrician, the company will refer you to a doctor within their own network. Some plans allow Americans to visit doctors outside of this network, therefore referring to the out-of-network coverage. This is really useful if you have to see a specialist or see a doctor in a different region/state.
Cost-sharing is really self-explanatory and is a fundamental cornerstone of health insurance in America. It refers to the costs you split with the insurance company. So for example, a consumer will pay 20% of the cost of a medical procedure, while the insurance company will pay the remaining 80%. Always make sure you understand how much money you’re required to pay out-of-pocket, so there are no surprises down the line.
It’s really important to know what prescription drugs are covered under your plan. For example, some plans only cover generic drugs and require a doctor’s authorization in order for the company to pay for the brand name. If you’re currently taking a rare type of medicine, it’s always best to check with the company before purchasing a health plan to see if they’ll cover it.
Overall, the healthcare industry is non-linear and there’s a lot of information that Americans must research before purchasing a plan. It’s always important to do the proper research and feel comfortable asking questions to the insurance company or to the broker. For more trustworthy information regarding the American healthcare system, consult HealthQuoteInfo.