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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 to your advantage to find coverage that meets your needs.

Here's a checklist of questions to ask yourself as you weigh your options:

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.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, 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 less than a year—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 can vary 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 copayment is required. Copayments 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?

You may have to pay a certain amount before a plan starts to pay for your care. Some plans have limitations on what out-of-pocket costs you’ll pay each year.

To find more about SelectHealth medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.

And while you’re here, read other articles on being a SelectHealth member.


SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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

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