How to Choose a Health Insurance Policy That Suits Your Income?

Choosing health insurance can be overwhelming. The options abound, but it does not mean they offer similar coverage. Among others, one factor determining the right plan for your needs is your income. While you probably want comprehensive coverage, picking the one you can pay over time is crucial without being too much of a financial burden. 

Read on as we discuss the most important considerations when choosing health insurance matching your income. It would help if you were realistic, selecting a plan that suits your current financial situation and your future needs.

Table of Contents

1. Determine Your Goals

The first thing to do is to know your goal. It will also depend on your assessment of your current health situation. With the latter, you can have a good idea of what you might need. 

For instance, if you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or cancer, you might want to choose a plan with coverage for these needs. Meanwhile, if you have vision problems, you might want to choose a plan that includes eye exams and even eyeglasses or contact lenses.

More so, even if you are in a perfect state of health today, it does not mean that you will remain that way in the future. One option you can consider is a high-deductible health plan. With this plan, the deductible is higher than most insurance plans, but the premium is lower. It is for those who believe they do not need healthcare services unless they experience an accident or emergency.  

2. Estimate Your Income

If your current income is your priority in determining the plan to choose, you should sit down and perform a thorough assessment. This way, you will know how much is coming in, and in turn, you can determine how much you can spend when paying for health insurance premiums

To estimate your expected income:

  1. Start by looking at the household’s adjusted gross income, which you can find in your federal income tax return.
  2. Add other types of income, such as tax-exempt foreign income and tax-exempt interest.
  3. Add other estimates based on expected changes, such as a potential raise. 

When you fill out a form at the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will need to provide your estimated income as a part of looking for health insurance plans. It would help if you do this as accurately as possible. 

3. Research All Your Options

Invest in thorough research to help you find a health insurance policy that suits your income. You can start your research at the Health Insurance Marketplace, which allows users to compare individual health plans from qualified providers. It facilitates shopping and enrolment to make the procedure seamless. 

More so, if you are looking for health insurance for low-income families, you might want to look at government-mandated programs that can make healthcare more accessible. For instance, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program can be good for low-income families who pass the eligibility requirements. The specific coverage and policies might differ from state to state. 

4. Review the Costs

Not everyone may have the luxury of financial resources to afford comprehensive healthcare plans. Hence, it is a good idea to consider the costs involved. One mistake most people commit is solely looking at the premiums. While such will determine your monthly or annual payments, other factors are equally important in understanding how your health insurance can impact your finances. Below are other essential factors to consider: 

  • Deductible: It refers to the amount you need to pay before the health insurance covers the costs. For instance, if the deductible is $1,500, you need to pay $1,500 from your medical bills before your insurance pays the remaining amount. 
  • Coinsurance: It is the portion of healthcare costs you will pay after reaching the deductible. Based on the above example of a $1,500 deductible, when your coinsurance is 20% and allowable is $10,000, the coinsurance is $1,700. This way, your out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible plus coinsurance, which is equal to $3,200. 
  • Copayment: It is a fixed amount you will pay for a healthcare service under your plan after paying the deductible. It is fixed, so you will know how much to pay. For instance, if the insurance states that copayment is $20 for every doctor visit, you will pay $20 every time you see a doctor for a service that your insurance covers. 

In Closing

Hand of a patient lying on a hospital bed

For many people, health insurance is a necessity and not a luxury. However, one thing that can discourage many from investing in a healthcare plan is the cost involved. As such, consider the tips mentioned above to help you pick a plan that can work for your needs while ensuring that it is suitable for your income. 

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