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How to Compare Health Insurance Plans


Any individual purchasing a health insurance policy must compare health insurance plans. For many work at home moms, purchasing an individual or family health insurance plan is a necessity. Insurance plans, however, are not easily read or understood, making comparing plans and choosing one to purchase quite difficult. Below is advice on what to compare in health insurance plans to assist you in choosing the best one that fits your needs.

Compare Deductibles and Monthly Premiums

The main cost of your health insurance plan will derive from monthly premiums and yearly deductibles. Compare the amounts of these costs to which one is the cheapest, the most expensive, the median of all the different plans, and which one best fits into your budget. As with most things, it is never advisable to purchase the cheapest or most expensive policy, but instead the policy that falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. These costs should be easily locatable in the different policies, as they are usually identified by their names.

Compare Prescription Deductibles

Not uncommonly, health insurance plans have a separate deductible for prescriptions. The amounts of these deductibles vary, and sometimes you may be able to choose from several different amounts within the same policy. However, it is very important to include the cost of this deductible in your comparison of the different policies because it will affect your ability to afford the policy.

Compare Mental Health Deductibles

Increasingly, insurance companies are charging separate deductibles for mental health visits. These deductibles are separate and in addition to medical and prescription deductibles, and they can therefore drastically increase the costs of the different policies. Also, it is not unusual for policies to have no mental health coverage. If you want mental health coverage, make sure that the different policies provide coverage for therapy or other mental health services and the deductible charged for the coverage.  

Compare Co-Payments for Medical Visits

Depending on the type of policy, an insurance plan may cover certain medical visits at a lower co-payment rate than others. Also, the amount of co-payment will vary between policies and within the policies depending on whether the physician visited was a specialist or not. These co-payments can be quite substantial to non-existent. Compare the different co-payments between the policies to see which one best fits your needs.

Compare Co-Payments for Prescriptions

Most prescription plans contain several different co-payments for prescriptions depending on whether the prescription is brand or generic. Compare the different deductibles for brand and generic prescriptions to see whether they will fit your budget and lifestyle. This is particularly important if you currently take prescriptions that you will need to continue taking in the future.

Compare Additional Coverage

Additional coverage for dental, optical, mental health or maternity coverage may not be included in certain plans. Compare the different policies to see whether coverage for these different issues is included or available at an additional cost. This issue may be important if you plan on having children also covered by the policy.

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