Avoid These Three Mistakes When Buying a Health Plan

Whether you’re purchasing health insurance through your employer or an independent market, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” healthcare. Choosing the right insurance plan for you requires careful consideration and research. While fine print can be confusing, it’s worth taking the time to understand the details of your health insurance plan, as well as your personal situation.

Here are three common mistakes many people make in selecting a health insurance plan:

Choosing an inconvenient network: HMO and PPO plans work within a healthcare network. Visiting a doctor outside that network can be expensive. Ensure your primary care doctor is covered by your health plan, but don’t forget to check on specialists and emergency care as well.

Over- or under-insuring: A young, healthy individual without dependents may not need as much insurance as one with a family of four. Over-insuring yourself means you’ll pay higher premiums for care that isn’t used. But under-insuring can be even more expensive if you’re faced with a serious disease or accident; even a significant amount of coverage may not be sufficient. So don’t skimp, and be sure to examine the fine print for procedure-specific limits and out-of-pocket maximums.

Focusing on deductibles and co-pays: Trying to limit your out-of-pocket costs with low deductibles and co-pay amounts may seem like a good idea, but could cost you more in the long run. As long as you can afford it, raise your deductible amount and try eliminating co-pays. You might be surprised at how much you really save.