The past year has been up and down for people trying to get health insurance or just understand the new Affordable Care Act. Now that open enrollment is over for government health insurance, some 8 million people now have insurance who didn’t before. However, there are millions more who simply did not sign up because the process was so confusing or just didn’t work several times.
In fact, the system led many people to sign up for insurance plans that may not be the best for their budgets. If you are questioning whether you have the right plan or if you are think that you want to change your plan, then you may not understand your policy or how your premiums work. Even though individuals who signed up with rather cheap premiums may pay more if they didn’t get the right coverage.
If you are worried about your coverage and budget, finding the best health insurance plan is still possible. You can look for these signs to clue you into what’s going on with your insurance plan.
1. You Don’t Like Your Doctor
If you had to switch doctors for the new plan under Affordable Care Act because your old doctor wasn’t in your network, then you should consider if the plan is right for you. Staying with a doctor you don’t like or trust won’t help you when it comes to tough decisions or when you start avoiding the doctor’s office.
You should try to change doctors within your network first to see if you can find a better doctor, but if you can’t or don’t want to, then you might want to switch plans to one that will cover visits to a doctor who you do like.
2. You Travel All the Time
If you are one of those individuals who travels for business or just ends up in the Bahamas for a weekend, then you should definitely have some type of insurance coverage that will allow you to travel. HMOs and EPO plans will limit you, but you can always add a short-term health insurance plan that covers you for a few weeks up to 12 months if you plan on traveling. HMOs tend to cost less because you don’t have to pay co-pays, but they aren’t as flexible as a PPO. If you don’t want to switch, choose a short-term health insurance option, but if you want to be covered all times, then you should switch to a PPO that may charge a co-pay to go out of network.
HMOs tend to cost less because you don’t have to pay co-pays, but they aren’t as flexible as a PPO.
3. Your Doctor or Insurance Plan is Still Too Expensive
If you feel that you are paying too much in premiums and co-pays, then you should find another option that will work for your budget. Most employers will try to cover part or all of the premium, so maybe it’s best to go with employer coverage. If that isn’t an option or you don’t like the employer plans, then you can choose to go to the health insurance marketplace at Healthcare.gov and switch to a different plan if you qualify. Unfortunately, open enrollment only happens during certain times of the year.
4. Preventive Services Aren’t Free
Most plans now must include preventive care for free. Many Americans signed up for health insurance through the government right when Affordable Care Act was passed just because of this change. However, this does not count for plans that were grandfathered into the system. If you have a plan that was before ACA that did not cover preventive care, you still don’t get preventive care now. They may also lack other benefits of Obamacare plans. Exams, diagnostics, lab work and screenings are all important to maintaining your body’s health and staying in shape. It’s worth it to look at plans on the marketplace or try to get another type of coverage through Medicaid if you are eligible.
Many Americans have signed up for health insurance now, but they may not have gotten the best plans. There are also others who were unable to find a plan because of the issues with the Healthcare.gov site. If any of these instances are true, you can still get coverage through a short-term health insurance plan and sign up for health insurance at a later dat.e In some cases, this is the only option for those who are out of work or who are planning to travel.
How to Pick the Right Plan
While millions of Americans now have healthcare, there are still millions who do not and never would have because they are not able to get online or didn’t know that they would have to pay a penalty for not having health insurance. Picking the right plan is essential for being able to protect yourself against illnesses, accidents and unexpected hospital visits.
When you start to look at plans, start by looking at cost comparisons and also look at services. In general, you want a plan that allows you some flexibility for picking doctors and facilities while also having a lower premium and co-payment.
With hundreds of different policies out there, finding the right one for you boils down to a few points.
- How much do you want to pay
- How much flexibility for choosing doctors and facilities do you want
- Do you want to pay a co-pay
- Do you already have a doctor
- Does your employer have a certain health insurance plan
All of these will play a large role in determining what you want to do with your own healthcare plan. You may not like any of the plans available for your price range on the Healthcare.gov site, but if you want to avoid the fee, you will eventually have to pick a plan that is low cost and works for your budget. Picking insurance doesn’t have to be stressful. You can look online at multiple plans and pick one that protects you through all circumstances.