For many companies, health insurance enrollment is either here, or coming soon. Many employees will just allow their employers to renew whatever they had last year, but some employees will certainly want to re-evaluate their options.
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Upcoming Medical Procedures
If you have an upcoming medical procedure, or you think something may happen then you should absolutely re-evaluate your insurance options.
If you are considering:
- Starting a family.
- Having some sort of elective surgery.
Or, if you are currently in the middle of a health situation and you expect to incur large costs next year (possibly semi-elective surgery), then look at your options.
Health Insurance Deductibles and Monthly Costs
Some variables you will want to consider include:
- Monthly Cost
- Annual Deductible
- Out-of-pocket Maximums
If you are planning for substantial medical costs (child-birth, semi-elective or elective surgery) then you will most likely want to choose a lower deductible with a higher monthly cost.
Of course, this is not the rule, and you’ll want to look at all the numbers, and consider:
- What medical procedures are covered?
- What percentage of cost is covered after deductible?
- Which doctors are in your network?
Estimating Health Care Costs
Often, employers or the companies that are offering the insurance should have a cost calculator to help you:
- Estimate costs
- and compare different plans.
Many of the calculators are even smart enough to use your previous year’s medical information to customize an estimate for this year!
In the event you don’t have access to such tools (I’ve never had this experience), I did locate a calculator that you can use which might be helpful.
Before using it, verify with your employer or health insurance provider to see if they have any calculators which will save you a TON of time compared to entering everything into this calculator manually.
Selecting the Health Care Plan
Based on the calculation and coverage, select the plan that fits your expected upcoming year. It is certainly easy to just leave everything as it is, but changing insurance could potentially save you thousands of dollars, especially if your current insurance doesn’t cover your medical needs.
The lower monthly payment can be very tempting, but you must determine what the likelihood for a real medical emergency is. The money will come out of your pocket one way or another, it’s better that you minimize the amount coming out.