How do you determine what health plan is best?


Quick Answer

To determine the best health insurance plan for your needs, understand the important health benefits the plan covers, and find out the exact cost of the plan, including out-of-pocket expenses, recommends Consumer Reports. Additionally, discover which health care providers can give you medical services covered by the plan.

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Full Answer

Your chosen plan should cover hospitalization, laboratory tests, emergency services, outpatient care and rehabilitation services, states Consumer Reports. It should also pay for prescription medications; dental services, vision care and other pediatric services; preventive care and management of severe diseases such as diabetes; treatment for mental disorders or substance abuse; and maternity and newborn care.

Consider getting a plan with a higher premium if you have an existing medical condition that requires costly medical treatment, suggests Consumer Reports. However, it is best to pay a lower premium if you are healthy overall and your regular health expenses are likely not expensive. Study the plan's provisions thoroughly to find out its terms for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limits.

Choose a health insurance plan that allows you to receive medical services from your preferred health care providers, because some plans offer smaller networks of providers to reduce costs, notes Consumer Reports. Check the links to the list of providers before purchasing a plan, or ask for a provider list from participating insurance firms or your company's employee benefits department.

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