How to Find Health Insurance: Ask These 5 Questions

Good health may be the most important thing anyone can possess. And good health insurance can play an important role in helping you achieve it.

Woman on the computer shopping for health insurance

When selecting a plan, there's a lot to consider—and cost shouldn't be the only one. It's also important to find coverage that meets your needs. Here's a checklist of questions to ask yourself:

1. Am I clear about what health services the plan will cover?

Coverage can vary, and it's important to know the specific details of different plans.

Most traditional health care plans must cover the same basic services—such as preventive care, hospital care, mental health care, and maternity care. But some services, like chiropractic, dental, and vision care, may not be fully covered.

In contrast, short-term health insurance plans—those that limit coverage to a shorter timeframe—aren't required to be as comprehensive as standard ones. For example, short-term plans might not cover maternity or mental health care. And while all standard plans must cover pre-existing conditions, short-term ones might not cover them.

Related: 3 Common Misconceptions about Health Insurance

2. Will the plan cover all the medicines my doctor prescribes?

Some may not. Pharmacy coverage likely varies from plan to plan.

3. Will I be able to keep my current doctor or hospital?

Make sure they're in your plan network. If not, see how much more you need to pay to see an out-of-network provider (some plans do not have out-of-network benefits).

4. What are the premiums, copays, and deductibles?

Premiums are the amount you pay for health insurance, no matter what services you use. You might pay it monthly. Deductibles are what you must pay before your insurance company pays anything for a claim. In some instances, the deductible does not apply to certain services, but a copay is required. Copays are what you pay when you receive a medical service or fill a prescription.

Related: Confused by Insurance Terms?

5. What is the most I'll have to pay out of pocket?

Many plans require you to pay a certain amount before it will start to pay for your care. Some plans have limitations on what out-of-pocket costs you’ll pay each year.

To find more about Select Health medical and dental plans, visit


References: America's Health Insurance Plans; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; National Institutes of Health;

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