When you’re looking for health insurance in Utah during open enrollment season, trying to decide between half a dozen (or more) good options can be incredibly challenging, especially if you’re trying to compare everything on your own.
It’s not enough to simply choose the health insurance policy with the lowest monthly premium costs – what about the quality of coverage, availability of in-network providers (if you opt for a PPO plan), and possible out-of-pocket expenses you’d have to cover whenever you need to use your health insurance?
Since choosing a new health plan can be a frustrating experience, let’s simplify the process for you by going through the main questions you should ask yourself before switching to a new health plan:
Would Making the Switch to a New Insurance Company Be Difficult?
First and foremost: is switching providers worth the potential hassle? For instance, if you’ve had HMO health insurance coverage for years but you’re considering a PPO plan, are you prepared to research which providers are in-network vs. out-of-network (not to mention the infrequent, but still noteworthy issue of non-network doctors working for in-network hospitals that accept that particular insurance plan).
As another example, what if you have PPO insurance and medical records on file at multiple different offices, but you want to switch to an HMO provider and have to ask every office to transfer your records to the new facility/provider? It’s not the end of the world, of course, but it might present a minor hassle that you’ll have to deal with as soon as you make the switch to a new health insurance provider.
Are There Lower Deductible Options Out There?
The second most important question you should ask yourself is whether or not you could be getting a better deal from another insurance company. In other words, if you’re hoping to lower your health insurance premiums and lower your annual deductible, are there more cost-effective plans available, or do you currently have the most affordable option out there?
High-deductible health insurance plans are frustrating for anyone to deal with because it can feel like you’re not getting access to any of your plan’s benefits until you pay a few thousand dollars for medical care and meet your maximum deductible before the insurance company steps in to cover the remaining costs. Keep this in mind as you compare monthly premiums (fixed) and your projected medical expenses over the course of 12 months (variable).
What Will My Projected Out-of-Pocket Costs Be?
In addition to deductible considerations, there’s also factors like co-insurance, co-payments, and covered services. Without reading the fine print before opting for a new health insurance policy, you may not realize that certain specialty services you need are completely uncovered under that particular plan or perhaps the co-insurance percentage doesn’t tell the full story about just how much medical services will end up costing you (what does “30 percent co-insurance” really mean if you have no idea how much the final hospital bill will be until you receive it?).
For these reasons, it’s ideal for individuals and families to work with qualified health insurance experts to determine which health plans will be most cost-effective for their budget and unique medical needs.
Are There Enough In-Network Providers in My Area?
Another problem some people run into while comparison shopping for new health insurance policies is the lack of affordable, accessible providers in their area. For instance, you may find that the cheapest insurance plan has no in-network doctors or medical facilities nearby, which means you either have to drive long distances to access in-network care or you’ll have to pay more for health premiums to access services closer to home.
What Do I Dislike About my Current Health Insurance Policy?
Last, but not least: consider why you want to change health insurance plans. Are there some issues with your current plan that are driving you away or are you simply looking for more affordable coverage?
If there are any glaring problems you have with your current health plan (such as no coverage for services you need, high prescription drug costs, etc.), then make sure you find a new health insurance plan that avoids these problems.
If you’re ready to make the switch during this open enrollment season, then be sure to check out our website for lower heath insurance premiums in Salt Lake City Utah while you still can!