Shopping for health insurance? Read one expert’s tips to make enrollment less stressful.
1: Know what you need covered
If you start looking for health insurance with a game plan, you’ll have an easier time finding a plan that meets your healthcare needs.
“If you call a health insurance company, talk with them about any specific medical needs you or your dependents have,” explains Craig Shively, manager of individual sales at Geisinger Health Plan. These needs can include:
- Coverage for treatments and specific health conditions
- Ongoing chronic illness
- Specific medications
Sharing these needs with a healthcare representative can allow them to help you find a plan that can best help in these areas. This way, you get the most out of the plan you pay for.
2: Have a budget for your health insurance
When you speak with a health plan representative, it helps to be upfront about your budget. This will help them narrow down the plans you’ll look at together so that you can find one that’s most affordable for you.
“We can also help you apply for financial assistance on an individual or family plan,” says Shively. “In many cases, families are referred to CHIP or Medicaid, which both offer coverage through Geisinger.”
3: List any hospitals, doctors or plans you prefer
Another important aspect of finding affordable insurance is knowing which hospitals, doctors and plans you prefer.
“If you’ve been seeing the same doctor for years and you want to stay with them, you should make sure that any new insurance plan includes them in their covered network,” says Shively.
Finding a plan that covers your preferred hospitals and doctors means you’ll have lower copays and save more money overall.
“You can also talk with a health insurance specialist about HMO and PPO plans that have out of network service and know what those costs are,” says Shively. “This way you’re exploring all your options and can really find the plan that best meets your needs.”
4: Know your taxable income and number of dependents
Based on household income and number of people who live in the home, a health insurance specialist can determine if you’re eligible for financial assistance, which can help you stay within your health insurance budget.
The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies that help people gain access to high quality and affordable health insurance.
“If your income is more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) or under 400 percent of the FPL, you may be eligible for financial help for premiums, which might even help cover out-of-pocket costs,” says Shively.
5: Work with a licensed representative
Whether you’re looking for an individual, affordable health insurance plan or want to know if you qualify for a tax credit or subsidies, Geisinger Health Plan’s advisors can help.
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Find an insurance that works for you with Geisinger Marketplace