The covid-19 crisis resulted in economic disruptions causing millions of job losses around the world. Others faced wage cuts due to reduced working hours or their inability to work. Several employees have lost their health coverage sponsored by employers. These days, hospitals, infections, and health insurance are popular dinner table discussion topics for most Americans.
Experts believe that the year 2021 is set to witness increased health insurance premiums for most enrollees. Differences may translate based on plan, region, and market. Selecting the best suitable yet affordable cover won’t remain as easy as it was during the pre-pandemic era. Here are crucial aspects that need to be considered while opting for cheap health insurance.
Ensure your hospital and doctors are included in the insurer’s network
After making the final list of most suitable plans, the last step is digging deeper into their PDFs to check if specialists, hospitals, and doctors you consult with are a part of every selected plan’s network.
Even insured persons can end up facing big bills in case their selected plan does not offer out-of-network benefits. Such consumers may eventually need to switch medical providers or hospitals according to the insurer’s network.
You can check the plan’s provider directory on the insurance company website or visit HealthCare.Gov (for selected states) for checking hospitals and doctors included in the list of popular covers. The best option is to double-check the information by calling your hospitals and doctors and asking them if they plan to continue their association with the insurer throughout the year.
Give equal significance to deductibles and premium costs
Besides patients with chronic health conditions, now even COVID-19 long haulers might need expensive prescription drugs and complex care during the coming months or years. Some insurance plans require insured persons to pay deductible amounts before the claim is settled.
Mostly, plans with lower monthly premiums have higher deductibles. Therefore, certain patients may find it challenging to pay the upfront amount. So, it is advisable to ensure there’s a balance between deductibles and premiums.
Physicians may recommend alternative therapies to some patients as a part of post-COVID-19 care.
Some plans offer to cover the entire cost for alternative therapies, while others do not even provide partial coverage. It would help if you considered the overall cost for therapies you may need and the frequency of using such treatment. Then, decide if you wish to go for a cheap health insurance plan that covers alternative therapies or the ones without coverage for the same.
Out of pocket expenses
Insurance experts believe the US will report more moderate to high users of health-related services this year. The cost involved in treating insured persons with co-morbidities will increase. That’s because patients who recover from the coronavirus infection may need to seek help from specialists. The list includes mental health professionals, rheumatologists, neurologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, and others. Specific plans do not cover these expenses. So, persons with on-going health conditions need to be cautious while calculating the expected out-of-pocket costs for plans that they wish to purchase.