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Tips for Choosing a Health Policy

Health insurance has become necessary for just about everyone, given the high cost of medical treatments today. However, policies can differ radically in terms of cost, coverage and features, it’s crucial that you go through your options carefully before making a choice. You also have lots of insurance companies to choose from, which may make choosing a bit more difficult. Of course, if you do your homework, the task will be much easier.

Type of Policy

There are various types of policies providing health coverage, and these are the most common:

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

An HMO policy only allows you to use healthcare providers within the network. And you can only see a specialist if you have a referral from your primary care physician.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

While PPO health policies have networks too, but you will not be confined to their in-network health care providers, and there’s no need for you to get a referral if you want to see a specialist.

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)

EPOs are a cross between HMOs and PPOs. You have to stick to their network, but you are free to see specialists with a referral.

Point of Service (POS)

The reverse of EPO plans are known as PPO plans, which are also the least popular of all. You need a referral to see a specialist, but you can see any provider in or out of their network.

High Deductible vs. Low Deductible Plans

Generally speaking, a plan with a higher deductible will have lower monthly premiums. Your deductible is the minimum amount you need to pay with your own money before your policy starts shouldering the costs. You will find a high-deductible plan favorable when your yearly health expenses are usually low. Otherwise, a low-deductible policy should be smarter to get.

Coverage Comparisons

Network and policy regulaions are the two most crucial factors that ultimately determine whether a plan is right for you or not. Even if you choose a plan that allows you to use out-of-network providers, you’ll still be better off going in-network because that will reduce your costs. And the rules that a plan has in terms of what’s covered or not – and how much your copays will be – can also make a big impact on how useful a certain policy is for you.

How to Choose the Best

Can’t decide between two policies that both seem to be the best deal for you? Just multiply each plan’s monthly premium by 12 to know annual cost. Then add in your maximum out-of-pocket.

What you get is what you’ll likely spend for healthcare if you had at least one substantial medical expense in a year’s time Of course, you should go with the policy with the lower total.

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