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Top 3 Important Things to Understand About Your Health Insurance



Insurance can be very complex. While a lot of it isn’t as confusing as it might seem once you really dive in, the entire field does involve a lot of jargon and terminology that isn’t familiar. On top of that, there are so many deadlines for applying and enrollment periods for different types of coverage. 

Keeping it all straight can be a nightmare. You’d be forgiven if you get your wires crossed here and there. Still, ignorance is not really an excuse and won’t help you get the best coverage you can and avoid missing key dates. 

What you don’t know could cost you dearly — both in financial and health terms — if you don’t take the time to get it right.

It may take some effort to get everything straight. But you should start with the following three most important things to understand about your health insurance.

1. Research Your Plan Choices

One of the biggest reasons health insurance is so confusing is that there are so many different types of plans. From HMOs and PPOs to EPOs and POS, it can all start to sound like alphabet soup pretty quickly. Then comes different tiers, like silver, gold, and platinum coverage. It’s easy to get lost.

Depending upon your employer or provider, you may not have all these choices. In some ways, narrowing it down can be a blessing. So you don’t necessarily have to know all the details of every one of these options in all situations. But you really should dig in and do a little research about the differences between those that are available to you.

2. Understand Your Total Cost of Coverage

A lot of us just sign up for the best plan offered at work and then make a note of how much comes out of each check. Then we assume we’re covered. That’s it. But beyond knowing what we’re covered for, it is key to understand the total costs involved with your plan.

This means knowing about your deductible, copayments/coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximum. And there may be other costs as well — plus benefits like Flexible Spending Accounts and optional vision or dental care. Be sure to get a handle on all the costs you may be facing in the year to come under your policy.

3. Know When to Enroll in Medicare

Perhaps the most famous type of insurance in the United States is Medicare. Tens of millions of Americans are currently enrolled in this program, which was originally designed to provide healthcare coverage to seniors and other select groups of society. And this federal program remains vitally important to ensuring that people of retirement age have access to the medical care they need.

While some chose to work longer and remain on their private plans, anyone approaching 65 will likely soon be eligible to enroll. So it pays to do some homework now and learn how to apply for Medicare. Even if you’re far away from moving over to Medicare yourself, it will help you assist any seniors in your life.

Getting to Know the Health Insurance Basics

In our modern world, health insurance is one of our most critical needs. Even the healthiest people can require intensive care at a moment’s notice, and it is our responsibility to keep our family safe.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of aspects about health insurance that can be hard to understand. From all the different plans and deadlines to the total cost of coverage and Medicare enrollment, there is just a lot to learn.

But we all have to do a little research. It’s the only way to get the best plan and keep ourselves protected. So start by familiarizing yourself with the basics — and then build upon that knowledge over time.