Families need to make a choice during open enrollment about how to provide insurance coverage for their loved ones. There is a myriad of plans you can choose from and it can be confusing for anyone who’s buying a health plan for the first time.
Here are some major factors to consider:
1. Your monthly premium
Typically, the monthly cost is around $90 for insuring an employee, although a large part of it would be subsidized by the employer. Pricing tiers should be looked into as well, as these may include your kids and/or spouse.
2. Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs
Some plans may charge a fixed fee such as $30 for doctor visits, while others may charge a percentage of the cost (example, 30%). There are also plans that charge $10 on kid’s prescription medication, while others charge $50.
During open enrollment, we recommend that you compare costs among different plans. It’s also important to first determine your family’s health care needs so you can decide between a low-deductible and a high-deductible plan.
3. Doctor Network
Quality of care is just as important as the cost. If you already have preferred doctors, then check which network they are part of. This is especially true if your child needs pediatric specialists. You don’t want to force your family into a coverage just because it’s the cheapest, and sacrificing quality as a result.
4. Emergency Care
Choose a plan that covers emergency care because if you have kids, then there’s a very good chance you could end up going to a hospital ER at some point. ER visits can be very expensive so pick a plan that will reimburse you regardless of which emergency care center you go to.
Deciding the amount of coverage you’ll need can be tough for many of us. The best way to figure this out is to note down your family’s medical expenses in the last 2-3 years. Take the average annual cost and use this as a guide in determining how much coverage to get.
With the online Exchange, you should be able to compare various insurance policies and pick one that suits your family’s needs and budget.