Selecting a Health Insurance Plan

Selecting a health insurance plan is often an overwhelming process. There are almost too many health insurance plans to choose from! Understanding what your needs are will help narrow down your search and ease the process of choosing a health insurance plan that will cover your needs at an affordable cost. Read our guide now for more top tips on how to select a health insurance plan.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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People that get their health insurance coverage through their employer, or their spouse’s employer can often be limited in the choices they have in health coverage. However, people that are purchasing their own health care insurance police have many choices that they are able to make as to the type of health care coverage, choosing which doctors you will be able to see, and many other options relevant to their healthcare.

Often an insurance plan will give you a list of their preferred caregivers, and you must choose from among them. Other plans, may also offer you a list, but still allow you to see your preferred doctor if you are willing to pay the difference in cost above the insurance plan’s rates.

Other plans give you free reign to choose any caregiver that you want to , as long as your costs are kept within a predetermined ranged for any services performed, or you agree to pay pricey co-payments.

For instance, if a 35 year old woman has a group of physicians that she is used to dealing with for many years and who understand her medical history and any relevant treatment that you are receiving.

It is possible under some health care plans that she may not be covered for visits to these doctors any longer or she may have to pay out of pocket to see them, should she choose to.

This is common for HMO and PPO health insurance policies and can quickly grow to be expensive if a patient insists on seeing doctors that are not covered on the plan.

Or consider this example; a 22 year old male that has not made any regular doctor visits will likely not really care which doctor he sees. He may be very concerned about the amount that he has to pay per visit though.

For this person an HMO or PPO plan could be just the plan he needs; it will provide a defined list of preferred caregivers that can save the insured party’s time.

There are other types of healthcare insurance plans; like POS (point of service) plans and IPA (Individual Pacific Association). These types of plans can be a bit pricier than HMO or PPO plans. They do offer a much wider range of options and choices for the policyholder.

As of now, there are no design-your-own insurance plans, though many insurance companies are leaning in that direction. In the near future it may be possible to customize your own health insurance plan.

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