Living without health insurance can be a risky proposition. If you suddenly become ill or injured, not only you have to deal with that, but you will get stuck with a huge bill that will have to come out of your pocket. This fact is not lost on employers and those who try to attract the best workforce have made their health plans a highly desirable perks of working for them.
Employer’s health insurance is also very important to workers, with 86% of them saying that that affordable health insurance is a key factor they consider when making a decision to accept or not the job. But how to discover if your employer has been cutting corners on your insurance plan if words like deductibles, copays, premiums, and coinsurance confuse you?
The first thing you need to do
Is read all healthcare-related documents your employer gives you. Here you will find almost all the information you need to decide if the health plan they are offering is right for you. The first piece of info you are looking for is how much does your insurance premium is and how much of it is your employer paying for you.
Then you need to discover what exactly is your plan coverage. Armed with those, you can now browse the insurance market and see if there are better terms to be found. Again, this is a highly individual decision and what seems like a great plan for someone else may not be good for you. Take into account your family health and medical history before making a decision.
Health insurance plans are ranked in four categories, bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
This makes it somewhat easier to compare them, especially if you consult some of the companies that provide reliable benchmarks. One of the industry standards is the Kaiser Family Foundation, which provides a very detailed and comprehensive review of the health plans.
Always look beyond the dollar amount you are paying. “A lot of people make the mistake of just looking at premiums when comparing their health plan options,” Kim Lankford, a personal finance expert with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, says. “You really need to look at the types of coverage you use and how much it’s going to cost by the end of the year.”
Compare coverage and see if it works for you.
Also, make sure to see which doctors are in your network, as this can be as important. Finally, doing this isn’t a one-time deal, and for the best result, you need to review your employer’s health plan at least once a year.