5 Things to Know about Picking a Health Care Plan

There are many factors to consider when picking a health care plan and with increasing premiums and a new election it is becoming more important than ever to know what you are looking for an how to get it. Here are 5 things to know to make sure you are on the right path when finding the best fit for you and your family.

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Open Enrollment

Most insurance companies have an “open enrollment” time period when you are able to make adjustments to your current plan and coverage. This is a time to evaluate your family’s needs and consider if there are life changes you may be anticipating like having a baby, undergoing an elective surgery, or changing jobs. If you are taking on new job this is a very important question to have answered so you know if you need to add a private insurance policy as you transition jobs or if you will have the coverage you need if you or a family member has an existing medical condition. Many company held plans hold their enrollment period in the fall.

Where to Find Health Insurance

Many people will find a health insurance policy through their employer. If this is not the case you will need to access your insurance coverage through a brokerage or directly with the health care company itself. There are government run programs created by the Affordable Care Act and there are also options for those with limited income that can qualify for medicaid or the the children’s health insurance program.

Know which Coverage is right for you

There is a lot of lingo in the health insurance world that can be very overwhelming! Know what you are searching for by doing some research! Time spent figuring out the best approach could save you thousands of dollars, so it is definitely time well spent. I found an awesome knew resource through UnitedHealthcare’s new website that will actually give you a quiz to see where you may need a little help and eventually make you a health plan pro! It makes learning about the plans and coverage so much easier and will leave you feeling like you have a plan in play!

FSA? HSA? HRA? Terminology is what gets me every time! By taking this quiz you will be ready to take on the task of finding what works best for you! There are four stages of the quiz and you can actually drag and drop your answers like a matching gave as you work your way through the quiz. There are four parts to the quiz that go as follows:

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  • “If terminology has you stuck, take the UnitedHealthcare quiz to learn more about terms and generic health care information.”
  • “Do you get regular check ups or find yourself having to go to the doctor often? Play the match game that teaches you all about health plan accounts like the HSA. FSA, and HRA that can help you afford those visits.”united-healthcare-health-plan-pro2-1
  • Everyone’s health care situation is different, and it’s important to know the ratio between out-of-pocket costs and premiums. Use UHC’s slider tool to decipher the difference.”
  • Lastly, You may be wasting money by going to the ER when you could just be going to Urgent Care or using Virtual Visits through your health plan. Figure out which services are most or least expensive by ranking them yourself!”

By taking the quiz or completing the crossword puzzle you are entered to win $100 (8 chances to win) weekly! Each winner is then entered into a monthly $500 sweepstakes (2 chances to win)!

Do what is best for your family

With this new knowledge you can now decide if you want a low premium, high out of pocket cost or a low out of pocket cost, high premium instead. Do you visit the doctor often with small children? Do you have a pre-existing condition? Do you anticipate a child coming to your family within the year? We are a young, relatively healthy family and aside from a few doctor visits we tend to lean toward the low premium, high deductible plan. This year we knew we were having a baby and we would meet that high deductible so we planned for that accordingly. This quiz will help you know what is right for you.

Stay in the Network

When we are choosing any kind of doctor, procedure, or appointment we always check our network first. I have been referred to some amazing doctors, but learned the hard way once when I went to one that was out of network. If you are having your baby and you know your doctor is in network make sure the hospital is as well. My husband’s job changed between two of our babies and even though our doctor was still within the network, the hospital that we delivered at previously was not. Thankfully we noticed this change and delivered at a neighboring hospital with the same doctor instead. I always double check that we are in network and call the insurance department of the hospital we are working with.

Extra Tip:

When paying for a big hospital expense, like having a baby, we always ask for the “pay at the hospital” option which will often give you a discount! When we had our baby this year it saved us 10% on our entire bill for paying the first major bill first. Also, we always use our health savings account to pay our bills, co-pays, and prescriptions. It is tax-free money and many employers offer them with their healthcare plans. You can even get a special credit card devoted to this account so that if you are ever paying for anything medical you are able to do so tax-free and without any extra effort on your part. Just remember to use it! I’ve had times that I have used my regular credit card out of habit and have had to call back and have them reverse it and apply my HSA (health savings account) instead. We also use this card for our dental bills!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of UnitedHealthCare. All opinions are 100% my own.

camille walker, mymommystyle.com

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