Healthy LivingMotherhood

5 Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own (and I wouldn’t be posting if I didn’t believe in the power of being insured!) 

Choosing a health insurance plan can be daunting.

I remember when I started a new job, and I had to pick between three insurance plans… HMO, PPO, POS, and other acronyms I couldn’t figure out…

Can you relate? Choosing between different plans that cover different things can be super stressful… what if you pick the wrong plan? What if you pick the plan that looks more affordable but in the end you have a higher deductible or a higher out of pocket responsibility? Sometimes I feel as if I’m gambling and betting on whether I know if my family is going to get sick or not (Answer: we can’t know.)

I’ve partnered with United HealthCare to talk about the importance of having insurance and the importance of being an informed consumer. There are many misconceptions about insurance coverage out there, especially because of the months of fighting and the partisan divide on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). it is amazing how insurance coverage has become a divisive and polarizing issue in our country. (Silly right? Who would have thought that a stab at achieving universal healthcare would case such an uproar??)

I believe in universal healthcare. I believe everyone should be insured. If more people were insured, they would have access to more preventative care, so small problems wouldn’t turn into huge (and expensive and potentially life-threatening) medical issues. That’s one myth worth debunking. Here’s a few more:

 

It is super important to carefully go through the different options and choose the best plan for your family.

Here are some tips to helping you pick the right plan for your family:

1. Ask you coworkers. Ask people who have been through it before. Your colleagues have experience choosing healthcare plans at your workplace.

2. Learn all about the acronyms! EOB, PPO, POS, HMO, OOP, etc etc! There are many acronyms and it can be quite overwhelming!

Here is a video to get you started:

3. Price it out: Don’t be fooled by cheaper premiums (that might actually cover less!) If anyone in your family has pre-existing  conditions, (which are now covered, thank you Obama!) make sure to take this into consideration! Also, know that some healthcare costs are now free (again, thanks Obama!) like birth control pills, and well visits for your child and most vaccines are also included.

4. Save for coinsurance and deductibles: If you have deductibles and co-insurance payments, put a little money aside every month for these; it will help when you have an emergency appendicitis or you discover that your child has adenoidectomy and you need to remove his adenoids (that happened to us!)

5. Remember… not having insurance is not cheaper than having insurance, you never know when you will need it! So, don’t think you’re healthy and can do with out… accidents happen! It’s better to be covered! Having insurance for you and your family will give you access to preventive care and routine checkups!

 With the Affordable Care Act, there are more options and a marketplace where you can shop for insurance until February 2015, so if you don’t have insurance yet… what are you waiting for? Open Enrollment ends on February 15, 2015. Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information.

 

Slider Photo credit: Flickr.com/edenpictures
Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a Latina working mom from Astoria, NY, mom to a trilingual four-year old. I blog about motherhood, Latino issues, women's issues, work/life balance, food, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural son!

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the information. You’re right, it’s important to have health insurance to protect yourself. I grew up in a family where we didn’t have health insurance, and it was always quite the financial blow whenever someone got sick. According to your article, we would’ve been much better off had we been paying for health insurance all along. I’m going to make sure I do that for my own family.

  2. It’s true that, while we may not like paying for health insurance, it costs us more not to pay for it, as the article suggests. We can’t foresee what problems may arise, so it only makes sense to be prepared for the types of things that very well may arise. No one who ends up needing health insurance regrets having paid for it in the past.

  3. I agree that one of the best sources of information when choosing a health insurance plan is coworkers, as the article suggests. These are the people who are most likely to have gone through a process very similar to your own, with the same options and decisions. Talking to as many of them as possible should help you to get an idea of what to do and what not to do.

  4. I think that it is important to find an insurance plan that works for you. I think that one thing that really works is looking at your income to see if you can afford it. I also think that it is important to be able to find an insurance plan that covers all that you need covered.

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