Five Things You Should Know Before Buying Health Insurance

By Cherish Kyeyune

Life is filled with uncertainties, and with this it’s not always easy to shape the kind of existence you may have always imagined. Things happen, people get sick… you get sick. To ensure that you’ve adequately prepared for these kinds of unexpected situations, it is better to plan in advance. Health insurance is a great option to help you manage your finances and health, especially when you’re dealing with sudden illness. Before signing on the dotted lines for your new insurance policy, here are some of the things you should know.

Don’t settle for the first health insurance option that you find. Do your research in advance.

Explore before you settle

Never settle on one option before you do the necessary ground work, even if it seems too good to be true. Actually, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. It’s always wise to shop around and view other options before deciding on a health insurance plan. See which one suits you the best instead of settling for one you may regret in the long run. Look for plans that offer cash back options down the line.

Your doctor may not be covered

It’s worth asking your insurance agent if your current doctors are covered under the insurance plan that you are considering. Also calling your doctor would be viable; they will usually ask who your carrier is and for details about your plan. There are different types of insurance policies, and each has different benefits. Be sure to ask your insurance provider whether or not they cover pre-existing medical conditions or prescriptions.

Some companies offer payment plans

Once you sign up for insurance, you will find yourself making a monthly payment, also known as a premium. You will have to make this payment whether or not you use any medical services for that month. Therefore, when you’re budgeting, in addition to rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transport, debt, etc., you will have to include monthly payments into your budget. To determine a plan that’s right for you, let your provider know how much you have budgeted for health insurance, and go from there. Ask about monthly deductions, which may be able to be made straight off your salary via your company, or through your banking institution.

You may be asked to consider a family plan

When shopping around for an insurance plan, keep in mind that most companies offer family plans. For these kinds of policies you will usually be asked to provide information on ages of your family members, and any pre-existing diseases that exist within the family; along with any medical history of those who need to be insured. Try to find out about any restrictions within the plan for pre-existing conditions and how long they’ll be excluded.

It will take time to get into the system

Find out how soon your insurance policy will take effect before trying to make claims. Some health plans don’t start immediately after you enroll. There’s an enrollment period that you need to meet; if you miss it you’ll be left uninsured for the following month or longer. Ask about this to ensure you get all your information together to meet the relevant deadlines for signing up.

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