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Selecting and customizing your health plan each year isn't always a simple, easy to navigate process. In fact, the multiplicity of government regulations and plan summary "fine print" makes it wise to utilize the services of an experienced health plan consultant to ensure you make the most beneficial decisions.
With so many factors to juggle in your mind, it's easy to see why people make simple (but critically important) mistakes in selecting an optimal plan.
Here are 5 of the most common such mistakes, so you can be sure to avoid them!
1. Thinking You Don't Need Health Insurance
Some assume that because they are currently quite healthy and live an active lifestyle with a balanced, nutritious diet, they can safely skip having health insurance.
But you never know if an accident will befall you or if you'll catch a serious disease or, perhaps, suddenly be diagnosed with a chronic condition that runs in your family.
The risks run high, and there really isn't anyone who simply doesn't need health insurance at all. Plus, you run the risk of a getting an IRS fine come tax time.
2. Choosing Your Plan Based On Premiums Alone
The second major mistake is to simply choose whichever available plan has the lowest monthly premium.
It's possible that could be the best plan for you, but in reality, there are other factors that need your attention as well, like copays, coinsurance, deductible, should something major happen to you.
There are also a lot of plans being marketed today which are “limited benefit” or “reimbursement” plans which do not cover everything and what is covered is based on s fixed indemnity schedule that comes nowhere near the actual cost of care.
3. Not Investigating The Provider Network
People often don't realize that they can end up spending as much as double out of pocket when they go out of network as compared to staying in-network. Therefore, many forego to investigate which local providers are in their insurer's network before deciding on a plan.
Plus, if you want to keep your current doctor, you have to call him or her and verify your doctor's in the network of your prospective new insurer. Otherwise, you'll later have to choose between leaving your preferred doctor or paying a lot more in order to use his/her services.
4. Not Checking For Preferred Pharmacies
If your health insurance plan covers prescription drugs, you'll need to check which pharmacy or which mail order service may be preferred by your insurer.
You can save significantly by using the preferred prescription drug providers, and if you want to keep your current one, you need to match it to an insurer.
5. Not Keeping Adult Children On The Plan
Under ACA, you can keep your adult kids up until age 26 on your health insurance plan. You don't have to claim them as dependents on your taxes in order to take advantage of this rule, and they don't have to still be in school or still living in your home.
This may save your children big on their plan if they're going to reimburse you for providing their health insurance, and it will save you money if you were going to simply provide it for them anyway.
Remember to avoid sales agents and find an unbiased adviser who will support you with openly comparing, understanding your options, and making the decisions best for you. A good health plan consultant can help you avoid these 5 and other pitfalls people fall into when selecting health insurance. Talk to an expert today by contacting Summerlin Benefits Consulting, and we can help you select and customize your policy!