Congratulations! You landed the new job! Now it’s time to weave your way through your employee benefits. Health insurance is a benefit that can save you a bundle of money, but choosing the right policy isn’t always easy.
If you’re faced with multiple health insurance plans to choose from, here are some considerations that can help you make the best choice for your situation.
1. Do you have any special conditions? If you have any health conditions that warrant trips to a specialist, you’ll want to first consider which policy best covers these types of visits.
2. Which plan covers your chosen doctor? If you have a regular doctor that you want to continue to see, make sure to look at the list of physicians considered “in-network” by each policy. You’ll likely want to choose the policy that covers your physician. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your doctor will be an in-network doctor.
3. What’s the bottom line? Before you actually choose your plan, take the time to compare the bottom line. How much will each policy cost you? How much is your monthly premium? How much is your deductible? How much is the co-pay for prescriptions and doctors’ appointments? Consider the worst case scenario. What is the maximum you must pay out-of-pocket each year?
My husband and I recently chose an insurance plan since he took a new job. When we did the math, we found that the policy we wanted to choose would cost us almost $6,000 more a year! That was enough to sway us to choose the other policy available.
4. What do other people think? Ask around at work. What plans do your coworkers have? Are they happy with the plan? Do they wish they would have chosen a different plan instead? Even though we didn’t want to go with the cheaper plan initially, everyone we spoke to also had that plan and had no complaints.
5. Remember your only committed for a year. Most employers will allow you to change your insurance plan during open enrollment. If you choose a plan now and decide that you don’t really like it, you’re always able to change to another plan during open enrollment.
Picking health insurance plans can seem complicated, but using these considerations, you should be able to more easily pick the plan that is right for you.
What other considerations would you suggest when choosing a health insurance plan?