How to Choose Health Insurance


By Hannah Waters

Choosing the right health insurance can be a difficult and frustrating process. Nobody wants to spend the money on health insurance, but sometimes buying a more expensive insurance can be more beneficial in the long run. When choosing your health insurance you should always weigh your pros and cons to make sure you come out with the best decision.

Here are some important things that you should consider:

What Does Your Employer Have to Offer?

If you are employed, it's typically cheaper to get your insurance through your employer. However this is not the only choice you have. You can go out on your own and purchase your own insurance, but you will have to do more research to find the best one for you. Through your employer you usually get the choice of 2 to 3 different types of insurance plans, all offering different types of coverage.

What Are the Most Important Things to You?

Make a list of what you are looking for from your health insurance. These things can include some of the following: small co-payments, prescription costs, whether or not you can keep your current doctor, etc. This list can help you narrow down your choices and choose the best insurance that fits you.

Is the Cheaper Insurance Better for You?

Although you might want to save money, choosing the cheaper monthly insurance may end up costing you more in the long run. Sometimes the cheaper coverage doesn’t cover as much when you have a doctor’s visit and you have to get tests done or blood taken, for example. It is good to calculate how much extra you will be paying per year for the different types of insurance plans you can choose from and then weight the benefits and the costs.

Check What You Can Change During Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is a time each year when your employer allows you to apply for health insurance, change your insurance, add a dependent, etc. Make sure you know what you can change or add about your insurance at this time. That way you can make the decision if you should choose the cheaper insurance right now and possibly switch to a more expensive one later on.

Should You Enroll in a Flexible Spending Account?

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow you to put aside money each year, pre-tax, to put towards your health care. Such things can include copayments, prescriptions, eye glasses, etc. But if you don't spend it by the end of the year, you don't get the money back. Check out this article on things you should know about FSAs for more in depth information.

The most important thing is to not get frustrated while making a decision about your health insurance and believe me, this is also one of the hardest things as well. Just make sure you make a list of the pros and cons of each plan to choose the one that is right for you.

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