Where to Buy Health Insurance
Health insurance policies may be complex, yet it is not difficult to buy health insurance if you know where to go.
Published December 3, 2020.
Health insurance policies are varied and complex, and shopping for coverage that works with your budget and gives you access to the healthcare you need can be a challenge.
You need enough coverage to access crucial healthcare services, but the criteria differ from one person to the next. If you can’t get health insurance through your employer, you’ll have to buy private health insurance.
How can I choose the right health insurance?
Start by shopping for a policy that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you plan to start a family in the near future, look for a policy that includes a low co-pay for doctor’s visits with the option to upgrade to an affordable family plan.
If you already have a doctor you like, make sure your health insurance lists them as an “in-network provider” so you can get the lowest possible copays and deductibles for office visits, tests, and procedures.
If you are healthy and under the age of 30 but can’t afford much health insurance coverage, you may benefit from having catastrophic coverage. This insurance is an inexpensive option that has high deductibles.
How will I know if I can afford health insurance?
Each health insurance policy comes with a certain out-of-pocket maximum that is the coinsurance plus your deductible. This number represents all of the money you would have to spend during a year, even with significant health challenges.
When you compare policies, pay attention to the policy’s out-of-pocket maximum. If you can afford the monthly premium and you have enough in savings to cover the yearly out-of-pocket maximum, the policy may work for you.
Where can I get healthcare coverage?
There are several resources available if you are shopping for private healthcare.
Healthcare.gov manages the Health Insurance Marketplace, which offers state-specific health insurance policy options. You can find out if you are eligible for low-cost healthcare and apply for coverage.
Medicare.gov helps soon-to-be retirees understand their health insurance options with Medicare coverage. It’s crucial to understand how Medicare and Medicaid work so you can make choices about your Medicare Advantage coverage and get the best possible combination of health insurance policies.
What if I can't afford health insurance?
You need enough health insurance coverage to make getting the care you need affordable. That isn’t possible for everyone, given the current financial struggles within the world of health care. If you understand your health status and have some idea of the care you’ll need throughout the next few years, you can shop for a policy that meets those needs that you can afford.
Pay close attention to the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. If you can’t pay for a policy that covers enough of your healthcare needs to make you feel secure, talk with your doctor’s office or local hospital about cost-saving measures that may be available in your area.
Going without health insurance is incredibly risky. If you understand your health insurance options and are familiar with ways you can access the care you need within your community, you should be able to find the right health insurance company and an affordable policy that covers your needs.