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Health Insurance Basics

Choosing a Plan Based on Cost? Five Terms to Look For.

November 11, 2016

Cost is a big part of choosing a health plan. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for. Here’s a closer look at the five main pieces to the cost picture.

  • Your monthly payment, sometimes called your “premium” is the amount you’ll pay each month to be a member.
  • Look at how high your deductible will be. That’s the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket for care before your plan starts sharing the cost. Often a plan with a low monthly payment will have a higher deductible. Choose a plan based on how much care you think you’ll need. If you do choose a higher deductible plan, you may also be able to pair it with a spending account like a Health Savings Account (HSA) so you can pay off your deductible with tax-free money.
  • Also look at what you’ll pay when you get care. Once you meet your deductible, your share of health care costs will be shown as a percent, like 20% or 30% —the rest paid by your plan. Or you may pay a copay, which is a flat dollar amount (example: $30) when you see the doctor.
  • The most you’ll pay out-of-pocket. Every plan has an out-of-pocket maximum. That’s in case you have a lot of care costs in a year. At some point your plan starts paying all of it.
  • Which doctors are in your plan. Anthem health plans pay 100% for checkups and preventive care when you go to a doctor in your plan. Some plans don’t pay for any care from doctors who aren’t in your plan. But even if yours does, you’ll almost always pay more for the same level of care. So look closely at the doctors.

We hope this gives you a bit more info, so you can find a plan that’s right for you.