Before deciding on a health plan, check to see their network requirements. Some plans demand that you see an in-network provider only, and that can be very limiting. It can be especially difficult if you already have an existing doctor for your medical needs who you trust and like going to only to find out that they aren’t accepted any longer if you purchase this new plan. Finding a doctor who you trust is a process that isn’t worth embarking on for some, so first evaluate if you’re willing to do that before diving into a new plan.
Examine their providers list to be sure that you have enough options that are convenient for you if you need to see a doctor, a specialist, and which hospitals you can go to. Look at the locations and zip codes, and you can make a few calls to double check that the doctors you are interested in will accept that insurance.
You’ll also want to evaluate your own personal medical needs. For instance, is there a certain specialist that you need to visit regularly or a particular medicine that you need to regularly have filled? If so, then you’ll want to go with a plan that provides these types of specialist visits and includes your medication. And taking it one step further, you should also evaluate what your preferred budget is. While a low premium is alluring on the surface, it often is paired with a high deductible. That means that while you’ll be paying lower monthly costs, if you go to the doctor often, you’ll find yourself paying more often until you meet said deductible. If that doesn’t work for your budget then you’ll want to consider that when choosing your healthcare plan.
The best way to go about finding the right plan for you (and your family, if that’s a consideration for you) is to gather quotes from the various providers and compare and contrast. You can also research the different companies and see what types of reviews they have and the doctors within those networks have, too. You can look to the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any questionable things written up about the companies that you’re researching. You can also look up the doctors through sites like ZocDoc to see what other patients like yourself thought. You can see if the office is organized, has long waits, and if the doctor has a good bedside manner.