Top 5 Tips for Selecting an Affordable Individual Health Plan

Woman Doctor

Staying healthy is an aspect of life that is multifaceted.

Not only does a person need to be mindful of their eating habits, daily activity level and overall wellbeing, but they also need to be aware of which health insurance plan is best for their specific circumstances. Whether you are a person that has dealt with illness or pain your entire life or you are a prime specimen of health, you must have an individual health insurance plan. The plan that fits your unique needs and desires is out there, it just may take a little bit of work to find it.

Here are the top five tips for finding the best affordable individual health plan…

  1. Get to know the lingo. Take the time to know what all of the different insurance lingo terms mean. For example, are you in the know about the meaning of such terms as insurance premium, copay, ACA, coinsurance or others? By investing a little time in acquiring the vocabulary and basic knowledge of the health insurance system, you will be able to form better options for yourself down the road.
  1. Write down a list and check it twice. We aren’t talking about a Christmas list here, per se, but almost. Take the time to write out a list of your desires for your insurance coverage. It might be that maternity coverage is important, or cancer screening tests are vital for your specific situation. The Affordable Care Act (or ACA) mandates that the costs for preventative tests be a part of the insurance plan, helping to cover tests for health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol as long as the physician is under the plan umbrella. Don’t cut corners. It is your health.
  1. Stick to your budget. It’s easy to start adding up all of the extras on an insurance plan, but in the end that equals a much bigger monthly bill. It is smartest to be realistic about your personal needs. For example, if you are young, chances are you don’t really need coverage with a low deductible. Go for the high deductible to help lower your monthly payments.
  1. Research your share. When it comes to insurance there is always the aspect of your share and their share when it comes to paying the bill. Before you sign on the dotted line be sure that you are choosing a plan that doesn’t leave you paying a huge amount out of pocket. Through state law, insurance companies must show fees that are attributed to copays or cost-sharing. These copays can sometimes accumulate, creating a much larger bill than a person was expecting. The research time put in also should look at all of the various plans that are at your disposal. It is in your best interest to not go for the first plan found, but instead shop and compare. For example, look at the cost-sharing aspects, the main benefits and the premiums attached. What may seem optimum at first may have hidden fees attached.
  1. Keep your dependents in mind. One of the bonuses of all of the shifts and changes in our health insurance landscape is that it is now required that insurance policies include children up to 19 years of age, despite pre-existing conditions. Also for those with insurance through an employer, your child is now able to remain on your insurance plan until the age of 26 years.