horizontal-1155878_1920Choosing the right health insurance plan for yourself or your family can be a daunting task. While it’s a difficult choice to make as an employee choosing between a small number of options, the process becomes even more taxing when choosing individually-purchased coverage from a multitude of available plans.

Before you make such an important decision, it’s crucial that you first become an informed consumer. A recent article by ZaneBenefits offers 5 tips to help you make the right choice.

1. Learn how individual health insurance works.

Individual health insurance is coverage you purchase for yourself or your family, independent from your employer. All qualified plans are required to cover you regardless of any health conditions, and they must also cover certain minimum essential health benefits.

2. Understand not all plans are created equal.

Even though all plans are required to meet certain requirements, that doesn’t mean they’re all alike. Make sure to evaluate each plan you’re considering according to factors such as:

  • Provider networks – Will you be able to keep using your preferred doctors and hospital?
  • Coverage amounts – How much of the cost do you share when you see a doctor, visit the ER, or fill a prescription?
  • Company track record – How does the insurer rank in terms of customer service, user friendliness, and financial stability?

3. Find out if you qualify for any premium tax credits.

Those who meet certain requirements, such as low income and lack of employer-sponsored coverage, may be eligible for premium tax credits to help make their individual health insurance more affordable. For example, 85% of those paying for coverage through the Marketplace are receiving tax credits averaging around $272 per month. So roughly 80% of policyholders pay less than $100 for their coverage.

4. Shop around.

For those who don’t qualify for premium tax credits, it’s a good idea to shop around to find the best deal on coverage. Brokers like us can help you research plans to find the one that’s the best fit to meet the needs of your family.

5. Realize the factors that influence the cost of coverage.

Even after you’ve selected a company that offers coverage at a lower premium, understand that there are a number of factors that will affect the cost that you will pay personally. The main ones are:

  • Your age
  • Your rating area (location)
  • The number of people in your family
  • Whether or not you use tobacco

These tips aren’t necessarily the only things you need to consider when shopping for a health insurance plan. But they’re a good start. For more information or to compare options on available plans, give Sequoyah Group a call!