Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and Covered California (our state’s health insurance exchange), people who are not covered by an employer’s health insurance policy can now select and purchase their own plan. But when you log into the Covered California system to renew or sign up for coverage, the process can be a bit overwhelming. This is particularly true for people who are unfamiliar with how health insurance plans actually work.
To make the process a bit easier for you, here are the main three thing you absolutely need to know as you begin shopping for your health care plan.
There are four tiers of plans. Health insurance policies are separated according to level of coverage, and are referred to as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These tiers don’t influence the quality of care you will receive. They simply refer to the percentage which the insurance company will pay toward your health care bills, your deductible, and of course your premiums. In general, plans that offer a higher level of coverage will have lower deductibles and higher premiums.
Know the difference between a premium and a deductible. You will pay a premium every month, regardless of whether you use your health insurance plan. Your deductible is the amount you will pay toward your health care costs before your insurance coverage kicks in. For example, if you have a deductible of $1,000, you will pay the first $1,000 toward your medical care each year. Then your insurance plan will begin to cover medical bills to the extent that it allows. You need to consider both your premium and your deductible when deciding your level of comfort with out-of-pocket expenses. Keep in mind that you might receive a subsidy to help with the cost of your premiums.
Research network types. These are referred to as HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO. Some networks will allow you to choose any medical practitioner or facility, while other plans only offer coverage to those in their network. This might be important information to you, if you want to use a particular doctor or hospital.
We will assist you at no cost! That’s right, you don’t need to deal with any of the hassle if you don’t want to! Give us a call at (650) 854-8963 at schedule an appointment. We’ll walk you through the process and make sure that you have a plan that fits your needs.