You buy insurance for your car and your house, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t protect your health and your family’s future with a good health insurance plan. Health insurance plans have evolved from the strict, unbendable plans of yesteryear. Now, a lot of benefits, riders and payment schemes are available to fit your needs and your budget. All these options can be confusing, though, and may keep you from choosing a good health insurance plan. Just keep in mind the factors below to help you decide on the best health plan for you and your family.

Your budget.
Check your monthly income and make an intelligent decision on how much you can set aside per month for a health insurance plan. It doesn’t make sense for you to splurge on huge premiums if there will be nothing left in your budget to pay the bills or to at least enjoy a movie once in a while. There are a number of low-cost, affordable health insurance plans available that give good coverage for your money. Take time to also understand the different terms used in health insurance such as “deductibles” (the amount that should be reached before coverage is activated) or “co-payment” (the set amount of money you pay your health care provider).

Benefits and your priorities.
Is customer service more important to you than premium charges? Do you or any family member have an existing illness or disease? There are many health insurance plans that offer different benefits—from pre-existing disease coverage to accredited five-star hospitals and specialists. If you have children, it’s best to check how well their coverage for kids are. Likewise, if you are planning on building your family, find out which insurance plans have good maternity and pre-natal care.

Healthcare Providers offered.
If you already have a doctor who your comfortable with or prefer to go to hospitals nearer your home, then check if the health insurance plan you’re eyeing includes your family doctor and your city hospital in their list. Some health insurance plans also allow you to keep your existing doctors without having to pay extra. If you are willing to part with your current doctor, check where the accredited hospitals are located and if they are near your home or your office.

Experience of members.
Find out which health insurance plans your friends or relatives subscribe to and ask them about their experiences with their plans. Do they have to wait long before they get the medical care they need? Is reimbursement fast and easy? Are they able to get good doctors, specialists and hospitals? Is the staff polite and helpful? These are just some questions that you can ask friends to help you trim down your options.

Additional services.
There are some health insurance plans that offer extra useful services like drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health care, chiropractic care, nursing home care, experimental treatments and even counseling. Check if any of these additional services are important to you and your family.

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