How to pick your employer health plan if you are an employee and you’re not sure about your choices.
It can be difficult to make the right selection but using these steps below can help narrow down your options. Your company may also have a health insurance broker or other resource to reach out to with questions if you aren’t sure how to pick your employer health plan as an employee. If you’re an employer looking for information about how to set your business up with a health insurance policy, you should read the article here: Choosing an Employer Health Plan.
Here are some checklist items you should consider before selecting:
1. What is within my budget
- The clear first step, if you cannot afford one or some of the plans being offered to you then you can cross that plan off right away.
2. Take your commmonuly used medical services and compare copays between your choices
- Let’s say I would save $30 at the pharamcy by signing up for a higher-tier plan choice but doing so would cost me an additional $60 a month to pay for the plan. It would be better to enroll in the lower-priced option and pay more at the pharmacy. You may need to compare multiple copays depending on your medical usage.
3. Check to make sure your doctors are in network
- Some companies may offer an HMO and PPO plan choice which means different networks of doctors would be covered even with the same insurance carrier. The lower priced HMO plan might look like a money saver but if you lose access to a couple of your favorite doctors, it may not be worth it.
4. Check your medications
- Formularies change from year to year and what was once covered before might now be excluded. Pharmacies might have also changed.
Here are some common mistakes you might make when you don’t know how to pick your employer health plan:
1. Going with the least expensive choice just because you’re healthy
- You might have the option to spend a little more per paycheck which could save you thousands at the hospital in an emergency.
2. Going with the most expensive plan because it’s “the best”
- Health insurance is about saving money. There are times when the cost to enroll in the highest-tier plan is greater than your maximum exposure on the lower plan option.
3. Assuming everything will be the same as last year
- Health plans can change drastically from year to year, even if you have the same insurance carrier. You should always check to make sure you can continue to use the same services or get a game plan together if you are losing access or coverage to something you need.