Whether you are 20 or 60, the quality of a particular job’s health plans can be a significant influencing factor when you are gauging how good a workplace is. As far as benefits go, few are more important than this one.
The availability (or lack thereof) of a good health plan can make or break a position´s demand or a particular employer´s attractiveness. Even within a company, there might be more than one tempting option for you to choose from depending on the level of healthcare benefits offered in each.
As 2018 rolls on, it might have become apparent to you that out-of-pocket costs, medicines, and overall treatments are seeing sharp increases all around. As more and more legislation regarding healthcare goes through re-evaluations and changes, this is a trend that’s likely to continue, making the whole issue of how to find the right employer health plan that much more critical.
In the long run, every smart choice you make in this regard will serve to keep your costs down and improve your overall economic standing. So I put together a few tips and suggestions that might make the whole process of choosing your employer’s health plan easier.
How to find the right employer health plan
Step One – Figure out your needs for the coming year
Having a solid grasp of your projected medical needs is the building block to make an effective decision when you are trying to figure out how to find the right employer health plan.
Take a look at your medical history.Make a note of your prescriptions (including an estimate of their yearly costs) and whatever regular medical issue you have, or appointments you make on a regular basis. If you can, review what you spent in the previous year, so your numbers stay close to the current picture and include things like co-payments and co-insurance costs.
Finally, keep in mind that we typically need more health care as we age and that prices (of medicines and doctor’s appointments) go up every year, so take this estimate as a bare minimum indicator.
Step Two – Take your time to compare and choose
As deductibles increase, so should the time you spend considering a particular coverage. Most people tend to believe we’ll always be as healthy as we are today when the reality is precisely the opposite. A 2016 study showcased how 58% of boomers spent 30 minutes or less exploring their choices during the last open enrollment, and 93% just chose the same benefits year after year without giving it much thought.
Not only that, people tend to make blatantly wrong choices in these regards. Some employees who don’t want to pay higher out-of-pocket costs merely forego some of their needed medical care.
The main reason for this is that the average employee understands even less than what they think about how their whole insurance scheme works, so it is essential to take your time and read up on how these clauses work to make the right choice for you.
Step Three – And speaking of out-of-pocket costs…
Yes, premiums tend to be the big focus of attention when we compare different health insurance coverages, but it is the other out-of-pocket expenses that typically determine how useful or even beneficial a health insurance policy truly is.
It is often the case for Deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payment cost to overshadow a policy’s premiums.
The rule of thumb here is that lower premiums come hand in hand with higher deductibles, so you need to play around with what you can afford and the likelihood of your medical needs to arrive at the sweet spot of efficiency.
Step Four – Some other ways you might save money
You should look if your place of employment as access to financial/tax exemption mechanisms like Health Saving Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), or Flexible Saving Accounts (FSA).
The first two are useful for people with high-deductible costs and offer some tax benefits, the third (FSA) doesn’t give you tax deduction advantages but does not require for you to have high-deductible policies, so they can all benefit you in some way depending on your particular situation.
Figuring out how to find the right employer health plan for you can be difficult, especially trying to precisely understand a policy’s components and trying to compare them as you go through several different insurance quotes.
Nevertheless, if you keep these basic principles and do your homework, you’ll have a much more manageable time going through it, and the end result will be you having your needs covered at the least impact to your budget.