In the Unites States, there is no shortage of health care providers and insurance companies that offer various options for the members of your household. However, when it comes to selecting the insurance for your entire family, you want to be assured that any emergency will be covered by the best health plan, and with the most manageable rates and premiums. Here, we will look at exactly what type of health insurance a family needs, and the proper ways to research the many options.
Considering the Family Members
As you may already be aware, choosing the best insurance company for your individual health insurance plans can be intimidating enough. When you factor in an insurance policy or finding a network provider that suits all the needs of each member of your family, the costs can become a little scary. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be, especially if you know the most important factors. First, consider the age and individual needs of each family member. For example, if you have young children, there is the potential for injuries while playing with friends or during an after-school activity. Your younger family members sometimes need prescription glasses, braces, and other medical requirements associated with adolescent “growing pains.” On the other hand, are you also caring for any senior citizens, perhaps a parent who lives in your home?
As you begin researching various health coverage options, their respective premiums, the window for the open enrollment period for next year, and any potential exclusions, also look for add-on benefits that will provide the unique needs of both the younger and senior members of your household. Besides private medical insurance companies, be sure to look into health insurance coverage options from the federal government, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act to see whether your budget offers eligibility. The more family members you are responsible for, the better the chances you may qualify for assistance from the U.S. government.
Family Coverage and Deductibles
With any health insurance policy comes the mandatory obligation to meet the deductible and premium requirements. Keep in mind, however, that with a family plan, the deductible amount will differ from your individual policy; in fact, expect that the amount will be a little higher. Before you panic that the amount will be incredibly steep, there is an added benefit. Each family member may have their own deductible (for example, $400), yet your family policy also has a family health insurance deductible (such as $1,500) for the total household. As a result, if a few members’ combined deductibles over the year meet the full family amount, no one else has to worry about their individual amounts having to be reached in out-of-pocket costs. For larger families, that can equal quite a bit of financial savings!
This is also one of the most important features to look for if you’re shopping for your first family health insurance plan. Without a combined household deductible, there is the expensive alternative of being dependent upon your insurance company’s out-of-pocket cost maximum. That maximum is a set “cap” on the amount you’d be expected to pay against each family member’s individual deductible, which can become very expensive very quickly.
Another important factor to look for in researching the best health insurance plan for your whole family is each individual insurance company’s offered coinsurance. Simply put, this is the amount you are expected to pay even after your deductible has been met and can include such elements as follow-up doctor visits and prescriptions. In a typical example, imagine that your coinsurance is 25%. This means that you are expected to carry 25% of the medical bills out-of-pocket, and your health insurance will cover the remaining 75%. In certain scenarios, this can also save you and your family a lot of money.