Whether you're self-employed or you simply don't want the plan being offered by your employer, there are a number of options available to people shopping for their own health insurance. In order to make sure you get the best plan possible, which suits your budget and your family's needs, it's a good idea to take stock of a few facets of the health insurance industry. Once you've done so you'll be in a better position to not only know who to talk to, but how to make the most informed decision possible.
Resources You Can Use
A number of different professionals are available to help you in your search for an insurance plan that suits you, some of whom you may already have an existing relationship with. Tax preparation firms are one such option, many of which provide assistance with signing up for insurance, as well as navigating the Affordable Care Act exchanges in your state. Another option is your homeowners or auto insurance broker, since many also partner with a variety of health insurance providers.
Reach out to a few different providers too, and compile quotes for a few different levels of coverage from each. Ask for specific quotes on monthly premiums, what costs are counted toward your deductible, and what services are covered prior to meeting your deductible. This will give you a good idea of what you'll need to budget for going forward, regardless of which plan you end up choosing.
Navigating the Exchanges
If you decide to take on the process yourself it's a good idea to come prepared with appropriate documentation. Insurance marketplaces organized through the Affordable Care Act at both the state and federal level will need to know details about each person being covered. These details include their age, social security number, gender and monthly income, and more details may be necessary based on these factors.
Learn what different types of plan represent, such as PPO, POS and HMO, which refer to Preferred Provider Organization, Point of Service and Health Management Organization respectively. For example, HMO plans are often less expensive than PPO, but limit you on your choice of physicians and require a Primary Care Physician to authorize various treatments while a PPO offers a network of healthcare providers who accept your plan and offer lower priced services, but no further limitations on the care you receive. Once you've familiarized yourself with these facets of the industry, look at the specific literature for a few different plans of each type so that you can see both the benefits and drawbacks of each type of plan and the coverage they provide.
Choosing to buy into an insurance plan other than the one offered by your employer can be a daunting task, but it also empowers you to take control of your own health care options. As long as you approach any decision with all the details about it you stand to benefit from the outcome of that choice. To learn more, contact a health insurance company like Culbertson Financial Services.