Shopping for Medicare health insurance is somewhat like going to CUBS and standing in the bread isle, knowing that you need bread but do not know which loaf to by.
You kind of have an idea of what the bread is going to be used for, so you start looking at price, only to find out that some bread is full of stuff you don’t want to eat and prices vary.
Shopping for health care is kind of the same thing. So, knowing a few basics will have a big impact on what you spend and what you get.
When shopping for insurance it is a good idea to understand some basics.
1) How much financial protection will you get (coverage level, deductible)
2) Where will you receive care (is your doctor, clinic or hospital, and pharmacy in-network)
3) How will you pay for the cost of your care (what are the co-pays or shared co-insurance costs)
4) What are additional surprise billing costs (what are the out-of-network or co-insurance costs)
5) Will you be able to get your medications (are your medication covered and what are the co-pays and is the pharmacy in-network)
It pays to consider your health care needs, your financial resources and your comfort with risk and volatility. Focus on these items, then look at price.
There are a lot of numbers to calculate when shopping for insurance.
A basic rule to follow is that the lower the policy premium the higher the deductible and out-of-pockets costs. Lower priced plans may also have fewer benefits or network restrictions. On the other hand, some expensive Advantage plans may offer similar benefits, but the middle-priced plan may fit your needs just as well.
The key question to ask yourself is, will the plan meet my health needs, provider network and medications? For some, the lower premium plans work great but for others it may not.
A good example is that some insurance companies will have several different plans with premiums that are just a few dollars different. Those few dollars can make a big difference in what you get, where you can get care and how much you will pay out-of-pocket.
All Minnesota health plans cover basic health needs. If you do your own research, the difference in plans may take you months to figure out, and that is why you need to contact me, so we both can go over what best fits your needs.