Health Insurance in California – What You Should Know
Obtaining health insurance can be a thorny, complicated job, even when you’re getting it on a group plan, through work. Not everybody, however, has that advantage.
If you’re buying health insurance on your own in California, it really just comes down to being smart about shopping; if you’re prepared, you’ll come out more satisfied. Here are five tips to help you find the best plan.
1. Run an Inventory of Your Health Needs and What You Can Afford
Start with the most basic fact of all: What product, precisely, do you need to buy? Inventory your pre-existing conditions, as well as the condition of the family members who will be covered by the plan, and think about the future. A young couple with a newborn is going to have far different medical needs compared to a middle-aged couple with a few teenagers running around the house, especially if those teenagers are prone to skateboarding.
2. Look Carefully at What You Can Afford
Similarly, you should look at your finances and think carefully about how much you can afford. We recommend against skimping and that you are realistic within the confines of your budget.
3. Check to See What Your Doctor Accepts… and What His Staff Likes
Contact your doctor’s office and find out to what networks he or she belongs to. And while you’ve got somebody from the doctor’s staff on the phone, tell them you’re looking for insurance plans and ask them if there are any insurers out there that you should look at or avoid. While you shouldn’t treat their advice as gospel, per se (when it comes to paying medical bills there are many sides to the story), it is useful to know who makes life easy for their customers and who might not be so great in that regard.
4. Don’t Look at Just the Deductible
Most of us look only at the overall deductible — and it is true that in many respects, the lower the deductible the better. But the deductible isn’t the only cost you’ll pay: Many plans have a low deductible but plenty of drawbacks that make them not worth it. For example, some low-deductible plans have high co-pays, or “co-insurance.” “Co-insurance” is essentially an agreement where you pay a percentage of any costs above your deductible to a maximum amount… if there is a maximum amount.
So if you have a $3,000 procedure and have a $1,000 deductible, you’ll pay $1,000… and then if you have 20% coinsurance, another $400 on top of that.
5. Trust Your Gut
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it very likely is. If you’ve never heard of an insurer, check up on them and ask for referrals.
If you’re worried about finding the right insurance for your family, call AIS Insurance. Through our trusted partner, we help Californians find, price, and buy the best health insurance for their needs. There’s no reason to go it alone when it comes to insurance: Call AIS today.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.