January 18, 2013
Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Plan
Family Features—Over half of all Americans will need to make choices about their health insurance by 2014, and already, millions are making decisions about their Medicare drug or Medicare Advantage plans. But many people struggle with choosing the right plans for personal health care insurance, family plans, or deciding on behalf of a loved one.
Studies by Consumers Union have found that many people are overwhelmed with the number of health plan options there are, and they often don’t know where to begin. Many looking for health insurance also:
Dread shopping for health insurance.
Will take short cuts in order to just “get through” the process.
Are confused by jargon.
These difficulties can mean that too many people overpay for their health insurance and still don’t get the plan that’s best for them. In fact, many seniors are spending more than $500 extra per year on medication coverage because of the drug plan they selected. A major reason why Americans struggle with these choices is that they don’t have complete and easy-to-understand information about all the health plan choices available to them.
Know Your Options
Reliable information about health insurance options—what they cost and what they cover—is more critical than ever. So many people turn to online sites to help them compare different choices.
Existing health insurance decision tools often steer consumers only toward health plans that have paid to be listed. The basis for their evaluations is biased because they only represent some insurers. They also often require the user to share personally identifiable information.
Understand Plan Details
You need to understand the differences between the various plan features so you can make a fully informed decision. Before you make a final decision, be sure you are clear on what those benefits are.
Check the “Summary of Benefits and Coverage” forms for each plan you’re considering.
If you have any questions, speak directly with your plan’s representative and make sure you get a clear understanding of how the plan will work for you.
Your health care coverage is too important to ignore. Doing some homework now can save you time and money, and help you take better care of your loved ones in the future.