Why do you need it?
Health insurance protects you and your family financially when an unexpected illness or injury strikes.
If you have young children, you know how often they get sick and need to see a doctor.
That’s not to mention the bumped heads and stitches that are a common part of childhood.
A severe injury or an illness that requires hospitalization and treatment would be above the realm of what most people could afford to pay out-of-pocket.
No one can predict what the future holds and medical bills can be extremely expensive – sometimes to the point of financial devastation.
There is also a link between having health insurance and receiving better health care.
For example, those with health insurance coverage are more likely to have a primary care physician who they see regularly, which can help you and your family to stay healthy by providing preventative care.
What are your options?
If you’re covered by your or your spouse’s employer-sponsored health care program, your options may be limited to choosing whether or not you’d like vision and dental.
You may also have the choice between two or three plans that have varying premiums, deductibles and coverage.
If you’re purchasing health insurance independently – and you don’t have access to employer-provided coverage – you have a lot more to think about.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that you have some sort of coverage or face a penalty.
The best place to start is to get some guidance! Consulting with an independent insurance provider can help you to clarify your needs.
How much coverage do you need?
Step 1: Calculate
One way to figure out the amount of health insurance you’d need is to determine the highest amount of money you’d be able to spend out-of-pocket if you were to experience a major medical crisis.
That amount can act as a guide to the amount of a deductible you can afford.
Step 2: Premium
Next, figure out the amount that you can spend on the monthly premiums.
Keep in mind that a higher deductible will result in a lower monthly payment and vice versa.
Step 3: Risk
Another factor that’s important to consider is your health history and your risk factors.
If you’re young and healthy, you may opt to go with a higher deductible so that your monthly payment is more manageable.
A family with children may opt for a plan that has co-pays and a lower deductible due to the frequency of doctor visits.