What Is the Best Health Insurance Plan for Me?
If you’re looking for an individual or family plan for yourself, a loved one, even a parent, you’ve come to the right place. There are several factors to consider when searching for the best health insurance plan. Health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product, so what’s best for you may not be best for someone else.
Some things to consider before setting out to choose a health insurance company include your health needs, your budget and which plans are available in your area. You should also consider the financial strength of the insurance company you choose, as well as customer service ratings, benefits, pricing and the network of providers. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best insurance companies below.
If your employer does not offer health insurance, or if you find yourself suddenly without a job, you’ll want to buy a new health insurance plan to secure your family’s financial wellbeing as well as your own health. Medical bankruptcy is something we should all be careful to avoid, and you can do just that by getting the health insurance you need.
Depending on where you live, you may not need to wait for Open Enrollment to get started. However, in April 2020, many states opened up enrollment again due to the spread of the coronavirus. You may be able to enroll in a health plan, if you’re in a participating state or if you suddenly lost your job, became pregnant, got married/divorced or turned 65.
We advise you to compare health insurance quotes by entering your zip code at the end of this article because comparing rates is the only way to pay the least for the best coverage. Whether you’re buying health insurance for yourself, an adult-child or an older parent, we have options for you and can compare rates from several companies at once.
Here are some of the top health insurance carriers in the country:
Aetna is one of the largest insurance carriers and has a vast network of providers. However, it’s not very easy to buy Aetna Insurance unless it’s offered by an employer. Rated as the best insurer with online access, Aetna offers tiered health insurance plans. Through the patient portal, you can schedule appointments, find new doctors or specialists and print out your ID card.
Available in all 50 states, UnitedCare offers some of the best Medicare Advantage plans available. They also offer plans for individuals and families that do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. They may not be the cheapest option but their plans are robust and inclusive.
Oscar health offers different tiers of coverage at affordable prices. Oscar has very high marks for superior customer service but is only available in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida, and Michigan.
Molina Healthcare only offers Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. They also offer low-cost marketplace plans you may be qualified to buy.
Kaiser is often the most affordable option available in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia and Washington D.C.Kaier offers different tiers of coverage at the lowest prices. It boasts getting rid of “the middle man” which often slows down the process of getting health care needs met.
Humana offers affordable Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans for seniors and disabled people.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a federation of 36 separate health insurance companies formed in 1982. Blue Cross (hospital services) and Blue Shield (physician services) operated separately until 1975, when they became one as Health Care Service (HCSC) Corporation. BCBS/HCSC offers affordable individual and family health care plans in different coverage tiers.
You can buy an individual plan or Medicare plan from Cigna, which provides full coverage in 12 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
If you live in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Georgia or West Virginia and need financial assistance buying health insurance, CareSource may have a subsidized plan for you. They offer affordable coverage in a tier system, but there is an income cap. CareSource also offers Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans.
The Anthem companies offer health care plans and related services like dental, vision, behavioral health, life insurance and disability insurance benefits as well as long-term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. They also offer subsidized Medicaid coverage in Indiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Wisconsin and Virginia. If you are not eligible for Medicaid you may be able to buy an affordable individual plan. Anthem also offers Medicare products for seniors and the disabled.
If you’re priced out of getting insured, this may be the carrier for you. Premiums are very low for a bronze plan, but the out-of-pocket expenses are very high. You have more coverage with the Ambetter Balanced Care plan and even more coverage with the Ambetter Secure Care plan, which has higher monthly payments and low out-of-pocket expenses. Ambetter is only available in 15 states.
What’s the Tier System in Health Insurance?
Unless you have a managed health plan like Medicare or Medicaid, you will buy insurance based on a tier system: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Platinum costs more but covers more out-of-expenses as well. If you have a bronze plan, for example, your monthly payments are lower but you pay more in copays and deductibles.
If you don’t see a doctor regularly and are young and healthy, a bronze plan may make sense for you, especially if you live on a tight budget. If you have a chronic condition, you may consider silver, gold and platinum depending on how often you seek treatment.
Choosing which level of protection you need is a personal decision that should be made based on lifestyle and health. Overall, the majority of Americans opt for a silver tier health insurance plan, which has moderate out-of-pocket expenses. If you’re not sure what’s right for you, think about how often you visited a doctor last year. If it was one or two times, chances are you’d be wasting money on a platinum plan, but if you became very ill, needed an unanticipated surgery or had a debilitating accident, you would be saving lots of money with more coverage.
4 Ways to Get Cheap Health Insurance:
1. Use a Comparison Shopping Website
Just as you would with car insurance, it is always best to shop around for the best prices on health insurance. Just start by entering your zip code here. If you’re a senior or are considered permanently disabled, you can apply for a Medicare plan here. You’ll then fill out one quick form and an agent will contact you with several quotes based on your profile.
2. Ask Your Parents
If you are 25 years old or younger, the cheapest way to get health insurance is to piggyback off your parents’ private health insurance plan. There’s no cheaper way to do it!
3. Choose a Bronze Plan
If you’re in good health and don’t often need a doctor, the lower-tier options make more sense than, say, a platinum plan which will likely be all-inclusive but very costly compared with a lower-tiered option. You may have to pay more out of pocket when you go to the doctor, and this may not be the best plan for you if you do but choosing a bronze plan from all your options will reduce your monthly payments. It will, however, make your doctors visits more expensive and you may pay for more medication.
4. Find a Good Agent
Based on your personal information, a good agent will give you a few options for different health plans or different coverage tiers. We suggest you start the process of buying health insurance by entering your zip code below.
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Already claiming a parent as a dependent on your taxes? Reach out to your current insurance company and find out if you will be able to claim a parent as a dependent on your plan.
There is one thing you won’t want to take on all on your own. You’ll need a little help paying for medical services. In short, you’ll need a health insurance plan.
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It’s always a good idea to get acquainted with the way plans are set up and what you’re responsible to pay before open enrollment which takes place in late fall. If you have a qualifying event, like a new job or if you’ve moved, had a baby, gotten divorced or had any life change that affect your coverage, you may be able to buy a new health insurance plan today.
Like auto and homeowners insurance healthcare insurance also has a deductible which needs to be paid before insurance begins to cover expenses. However, healthcare deductibles work a little differently. For instance, your healthcare insurance will pay for some services even before you meet your deductible.
You may be shopping for health insurance because you got a new job, which doesn’t offer health insurance. Some people even prefer to have a health plan separate from their jobs. It’s usually a more expensive option to buy an individual health insurance policy when an employer offers to pay a portion of your premiums each month. However, some people prefer to choose their own insurance company and a plan that fits their needs.