October 3, 2021

Guide to buying individual health insurance

Time is of the essence and when it comes to choosing the right individual health insurance plan, you don't want to rush anything. Having a start-to-finish guide to help make the process easier for you should benefit you in many ways. Plus, it should help you avoid making any costly decisions. These 4 easy steps should help you to make the right choice. Keep on reading to find out more. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Marketplace 

You'd be surprised to find that most people get their individual health insurance through their employer. The fact is, the benefits of individual health insurance are many. Fortunately, your employer knows this as well. If your employer provides you with individual health insurance coverage, you don't need to worry about using government insurance exchanges or other marketplaces. 

However, this doesn't mean that you can't look for alternative health insurance plans. It's important to note that it's likely to cost you more. If your employer doesn't provide you with individual health insurance benefits, you're not alone. The easiest way to shop for individual health insurance coverage is through your state's public marketplace. Alternatively, you can choose to use the federal marketplace. But if you opt for getting it directly from an insurer you should know that you'll no longer be eligible for your premium tax credits. 

Step 2: Compare Individual Health Insurance Coverage 

Once you've decided on the marketplace that you'll use, it's time for you to start comparing your individual health insurance plans. When you're shopping for your individual health insurance, you're likely to get confused by some alphabet soup. Generally, there are four different types of health insurance plans. The following are the most common. 

  • HMOs
  • PPOs
  • EPOs
  • POS

The fact of the matter is that your benefits of individual health insurance are determined by the type of plan that you choose. In addition, it should help you to prepare for your out-of-pocket costs as well as the kind of doctor that you can visit. This is why it's essential for you to look at the summary of your benefits while you're comparing your health insurance plans.

The general rule of thumb is for you to compare the type of medical care that you and your family have required in the past year. This should make it easier for you to estimate the type of benefits that your health insurance should cover. Most importantly, you should know what restrictions you are likely to face with your plan. 

Step 3: Compare Health Plan Networks 

Did you know that you can lower your costs by a margin when you choose to use an in-network doctor? The reason for this is that insurance providers usually contract lower rates with these doctors. However, doctors that are outside the network don't have to agree to these lowered rates. As a result, you'll typically pay more in comparison. Next time that you visit your favorite family doctor, you should find out if she's part of the plan that you're considering. Or simply ask her if she takes the individual health insurance plan that you want to choose. 

But, if you don't have a doctor yet, you should consider going for a plan that gives you a wider network of doctors to choose from. These are a great option if you live in a smaller town. It eliminates any inconveniences should you need a doctor who isn't part of a network in an emergency situation. 

Step 4: Compare the Out-of-pocket Costs

The amount of money that you're likely to pay out-of-pocket is an important consideration that you should make. The simplest way to find out how much you should pay is by looking at the summary of benefits that your plan provides. It's essential for you to know how to understand the terminology that your insurance provider uses. This way, you're not confused by anything and find yourself in a sticky situation when your medical bills arrive. If you're choosing the lowest individual health insurance premium, you should know that your out-of-pocket costs are going to be higher. Choosing your plan should be determined by these costs. 

In summary, it's important for you to have a detailed guide that you should use when you're trying to find your most suitable individual health insurance plan. At Alpine Castle Lake Insurance, we want to make choosing the benefits of individual health insurance as seamless as possible. You should visit our website to find a plan that works for you and your family.