Buying health insurance is a necessary task for all work-at-home moms. Sifting through the numerous policies available to determine which works best for you is neither easy nor fun. Below are tips on what to consider when purchasing a plan.
Invest Time and Effort
Plan information provided by insurance companies is not easy to read or comprehend. Invest time in learning the terms, conditions and other information contained in the plans so that you understand the different policies and companies. While not a fun task, making this effort will enable you to purchase the best plan for your needs and to have full knowledge of the plan when in effect.
Decide Who the Policy Covers
Family policies and individual policies differ in the amount they cost and the conditions they cover. Prior to beginning investigation available policies, you must determine whether the plan will cover only you or your entire family. If your children are not covered under another plan, you will need to include them on yours.
Buy What You Need
Most individual health insurance policies or small business policies have an extensive list of conditions that are not covered. Sometimes, it may be possible to add uncovered conditions or tests for a small fee, but other times you may have to choose another policy or provider to purchase the coverage you need. Read the list of what is covered carefully to make sure that any conditions you or your children, if they are to be added to the plan, have will be covered, and whether there is a waiting period for coverage. Only purchase a plan that covers what you need.
Don't Overlook Deductibles
Do not forget to include the deductible as a cost of the policy. Typically, the higher the deductible, the cheaper the monthly cost for the policy. However, this is not always the case. Policies differ in the amount of deductible and the timeframe of the deductible year. You may be tempted to purchase the plan with the lowest monthly cost, but the deductible you would need to meet before the company would pay or reimburse your medical expenses may be out of your budget. Purchase the plan with the cheapest deductible for which you can afford the monthly payments. Additionally, do not overlook any payments you make towards the deductible during tax season because they are deductible.
The Location of Providers
Both PPO and HMO plans have a list of preferred providers for whose services the company may pay more or waive a co-payment. However, you should check where these preferred providers are located to make sure there are ones available in your area. You may have to pay a larger co-payment or out of your own pocket for seeing providers not on this list. If you or a member of your family sees a specialist for a condition, it might be wise to make sure that specialist is on the policy you choose to prevent needing to find a new physician.
Be inquisitive when investigating insurance policies. Make a list of the things you need covered and how much you can pay for coverage prior to searching for available policies. And, do not hesitate to ask questions to plan representatives if you are confused or unsure about something in the plan explanation.