When a member of your family is sick or hurt, the last thing you want to think about is how you’re going to pay for it. You just want them to get the care they need right away. That’s why its important to do your homework now and get the right family health insurance plan today so you don’t have to think about it when something does come up.
With any health insurance plan, the first decision you should make concerns your deductible. How large a deductible – how much you are willing to pay before your insurance kicks in – it is the main variable in how high or low your monthly premiums are and has the greatest impact on your out of pocket costs. If you don’t know where to begin with this, refer to our detailed health insurance deductible page.
I Want To Keep My Doctor
Many health plans reduce costs by limiting your medical care to their own network of doctors. If you have a primary care provider or specialist you want to continue to see, first start with plans from insurance providers they accept. While there are online tools that will tell you what doctors accept what plans, we strongly recommend you call your doctor’s office and ask.
What Services Are Covered?
For those new to private insurance, it often comes as a surprise that maternity is not covered under most plans. Proper prenatal care and delivery can be very expensive, so if you think pregnancy might be in your future, refer to my page on maternity coverage.
Well baby visits, for checkups and immunizations, as well as adult preventive care are now covered by law under every family health insurance plan.
Eye and dental coverage is usually offered separately. For a large family with young children, eye and dental care can be very expensive, and will generally not count towards your deductible.
When looking at a plan, look closely at what is covered and think about what you may need. If you think you will use a lot of services typically not covered by health plans, a health savings account may be the way to go.
Pre-existing conditions are often not covered, or will not be covered for a predetermined time period. If you have a pre-existing condition that is preventing you from getting coverage, research your state’s high risk insurance pool.
Start Looking At Quotes
At this point, you should start looking at some actual health plan quotes for different levels of coverage. I recommend eHealthInsurance for this, as they do not require any contact information and only ask for basic, anonymous data like sex and age in order to generate quotes. They provide a lot of detail on their quotes and also are available to answer questions by phone if you have them, for free.
Apply For Your Plan
When you’ve selected the plan you want, you’re more then half way there. Most health plans will allow you to apply online. When doing so, make sure to be completely honest. Leaving out a pre-existing condition will likely lead to problems down the road. And if you’re feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse, remember there are no contracts with health insurance. You can always switch your plan later.
After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the heath provider. One of three things will happen next, they will either accept it, accept it conditional on a new quote they offer you based on your health history, or they will reject it.
Reaching your goal of an accepted application is a long road but well worth it. Knowing you’ve selected the right plan for your family and your budget is a tremendously good feeling.