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How to Choose a Health Insurance Policy

Health insurance has become necessary for just about everyone, given the high cost of medical treatments today. But there can be huge differences among policies when it comes to pricing, coverage and features, so you should examine your options thoroughly before deciding on one. You also have lots of insurance companies to choose from, which may make choosing a bit more difficult. But of course, with a little research, everything is easier.

Type of Policy

There are different types of health insurance policies, and below are the most popular:

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

An HMO policy only allows you to use healthcare providers within the network. Should you have to see a specialist, you’ll need to get a referral from your primary care doctor.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

PPO health policies also have networks, but you are not limited to in-network health care providers, and you also don’t need a referral to see a specialist.

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)

EPOs are like half HMO, half PPO. You have to stick to their network, but you are free to see specialists with a referral.

Point of Service (POS)

The reverse of EPO plans are known as PPO plans, which are also the least popular of all. A referral is required for an appointment with a specialist, but you can see any doctor outside the network.

High Deductible versus Low Deductible Policies

In general, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premiums will be. Your deductible is the amount of healthcare expenses that you have to cover out-of-pocket before coverage takes over. If your average health expenses each year are relatively low, a high-deductible plan will be an advantage. A low-deductible policy will be more beneficial otherwise.

How to Compare Coverage

The two most crucial factors that dictate how good a policy will be for you, are its network and the policies for coverage. Even if you choose a plan that allows you to use out-of-network providers, you’ll still be better off going in-network because that will reduce your costs. And a plan’s coverage rules, including your copay rate, can also make a huge difference in terms of a policy being actually good for you or not.

How to Choose the Best

Are you having a hard time choosing between to policies that both seem to be a steal? You’ll want to know each plan’s annual cost by multiplying their monthly premium by 12. Now add the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum.

The result is the amount you’ll likely spend on health care if you had at least one significant medical expense through the course of the year, . Choose the plan with the lowest total.

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