Picking A Budget Health Care Plan That Works For You

If you don’t have employer coverage or don’t know how much of your budget you should set aside for healthcare, then the right healthcare plan can be a little hard to find. It might be tempting to choose a plan that has low premiums and hope for the best. However, when it comes to finding a health care plan that suits you and your wallet, you should try to strike a balance. 

Consider your budget but look for a plan with good coverage. You don’t want to fall sick and dread seeking medical attention. Here is a quick guide on how to navigate the risky waters of the health care plan market.

Predict Your Health Needs 

Even if you think you’re in the best health of your life, you should consider what your family’s health needs could be over the next year. Nobody can read the future, so you have no way of knowing if you’re going to get a serious illness or have an accident. Still, think about your family’s lifestyle and history of illnesses. 

If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, factor the costs of medical care into your plans. If you have small children, mark how often they visited their doctor in the past year. How often do you visit the emergency room or your primary care physician? Do you get medical exams and tests very often? All these questions will go some way toward focusing your mind on what kind of coverage would be ideal for you.

Choose A Plan 

Even if you are on a budget, make your health needs and the coverage you envisioned for yourself a part of your decision. Don’t just choose a plan with low premiums or monthly payments. Lower premium plans come with higher risks, higher deductibles and more- out-of-pocket expenses. 

If the analysis of your health needs showed that you visit your doctor several times a year, then it might be worth it to pay a higher premium every month to enjoy a lower co-pay for doctor’s visits. High premiums with low deductibles work well for people who have to keep getting tests like MRIs, CT scans or ultrasounds.

Make Sure Your Doctor Is In The Provider Network 

Insurance companies often provide an up-to-date list of medical professionals in the provider network, but you should double-check that your current doctor will be in the network for the coming year.

Find ways to save on healthcare outside your plan: You still want to save money on health care even if you end up spending more than you budgeted for in monthly premiums. There are concrete ways to do this. Find out if you qualify for Medicaid or other schemes that save you the costs of deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. You could also apply for a Health Savings Account which allows you to put away pre-tax money for health care. You could use a health care savings account to help ease costs that aren’t covered by your health care plan such as fertility treatments or chiropractor care.