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What are some tips for purchasing health care?

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Quick Answer

Tips to consider when purchasing health care include understanding coverage, determining relevant costs and growing familiar with the network of providers, notes Consumer Reports. These tips can help reduce overall costs for a particular plan while sharing risk with the provider.

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Full Answer

A health insurance plan is typically available from an employer or through a state's health insurance marketplace, notes the Consume Reports website. Generally, there are 10 essential health benefits that a plan must cover, including emergency services, hospitalization, laboratory tests, maternity and newborn care, as well as mental health and substance-abuse treatment, outpatient care, pediatric services, prescription drugs, preventive services and rehabilitation services.

There are two common costs associated with a health care plan, monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, states Consumer Reports. Out-of-pocket expenses consist of deductibles, coinsurance and copays. For the most part, a patient paying a higher premium incurs less costs when actually receiving medical treatment. A purchaser that buys from a state marketplace may be legible for additional income-based subsidies.

Finally, each health care plan has a network or providers, which consists of doctors, hospitals, laboratories, imaging centers and pharmacies. A patient should check to see if a network is within the scope of the associated insurance plan, notes Consumer Reports. This can impact the plan's overall cost.

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