Choosing the right health insurance plan can prove to be a daunting and even complicated process at times. However, to make it easier for you, there are a few things you should know about how to compare health insurance plans.
The Four Categories
First of all, as you look through your many insurance options, you are sure to run across various categories, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These are known as the four metal categories of health insurance. Each of them is different, allowing you to compare your plan share costs across the board. The quality of care you will receive will not change with each plan.
Your total costs or monthly premiums are what you will pay for your health insurance coverage each month, even if you don’t use your policy during that month. Along with those, you may also find other out-of-pocket costs, including a deductible and copayments for services.
Plan Types And Networks
Next, take a closer look at the different plan types available to you along with the network options, which include HMOs, PPOs, POSs, and EPOs. Many plans allow you to choose your own provider or facility. However, your choices may be limited under other plans if you choose to go outside your network.
Comparing Health Insurance Types
When you begin to compare plans you are interested in, you need to determine what your out-of-pocket costs will be and what providers or healthcare facilities you can use. Always look for the summary of benefits for each plan. This will provide you with a provider directory.
If you are getting insurance through your employer, you can inquire about the summary of benefits with your workplace benefits administrator.
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): You typically have to stay within the network for this kind of plan, and you often require referrals to see a specialist. However, you will find lower out-of-pocket costs.
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): You are not limited to your network, but in-network care is going to be more affordable. You do not need a referral to see a specialist, and you will have access to more provider options. However, you have to deal with higher out-of-pocket costs.
- Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO): Except for emergencies, you have to stay within your network. You do not need a referral for a specialist, and you will have lower out-of-pocket costs. However, you have less freedom when it comes to choosing your own provider.
- Point of Service Plan (POS): Although you are not limited to your network, in-network care is less expensive. Under this type of plan, you need a referral, but you are given more provider options.
Always consider the medical needs of everyone who will be covered under your insurance plan. Determining those can help you decide the type of plan that would be best for your circumstances.
For more information on how to choose the best insurance plan and how to compare them with one another, visit National Insurance Partners today.