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Things to Consider

What is the best health insurance plan for me?

Choosing a health plan can be a confusing experience. Although there is no one "best" plan, there are some plans that will be better than others for you and your family's health needs. We will try to guide you in simple terms. However, rather than just giving you answers, the best thing we can do is to make sure you are equipped with the right questions. The following booklets can help you make sense of all your health care choices and options:

There are three major things to consider, each with their own unique set of questions. By considering the questions thoroughly, you will arrive at the right plan for you and your family.
  1. How affordable is the care (cost of care)?
    • How much will it cost me on a monthly basis?
    • Should I try to insure just major medical expenses or most of my medical expenses?
    • Can I afford a policy that at least covers my children?
    • Are there deductibles I must pay before the insurance begins to help cover my costs?
    • After I have met the deductible, what part of my costs are paid by the plan?
    • If I use doctors outside a plan's network, how much more will I pay to get care?
    • How often do I visit the doctor and how much do I have to pay at each visit?

  2. Do the included services match my needs (access of care)?
    • What doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers are part of the plan?
    • Are there enough of the kinds of doctors I want to see?
    • Where will I go for care? Are these places near where I work or live?
    • Do I need to get permission before I see a medical specialist?
    • Are there any limits to how much I must pay in case of a major illness?
    • Is the prescription medication which I need covered by the plan?
    • Does the plan cover the expenses of delivering a baby?

  3. Have people had good results when covered by a specific plan (quality of care)?
    • How do independent government organizations rate the different plans?
    • What do my friends say about their experience with a specific plan?
    • What does my doctor say about their experience with a specific plan?
Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care * shows how you can use information about quality to improve the quality of health care services you and your family receive. It describes quality measures including consumer ratings, clinical performance measures, and accreditation-what they are, where to find them, and how to use them. The Guide has checklists, questions, charts, and other tools to help you make the health care decisions that are right for you.

The major ways you can check for quality in health care are also summarized in:
Quick Checks for Quality *

The above documents are provided with permission from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. The above guides are for informational purposes only and should not be considered advise or counsel as to any particular individual or family's situation for health insurance needs.

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