The number of uninsured Americans remains high, with over 28 million people still without proper coverage. With all the health scares happening today, it’s important that you find the right insurance plan to stay safe.
But finding the best health insurance in Texas is easier said than done. What factors should you look out for? What really separates subpar health insurance plans and great ones?
That’s what we’re here to answer today. Read on to find out how to spot the best health insurance in Texas.
Things to Understand When Shopping for Healthcare
Before you start your search, you need to know a few different factors that go into picking the best insurance plan. At the end of the day, you need something that fits your specific needs and parameters.
Here are a few things to understand and consider when shopping around for health insurance in Texas:
4 “Metal” Categories
When it comes to cost, figuring out the optimal payment strategy is key. The four common “metal” categories help you navigate this in a more streamlined way.
They’re based on how you and your plan can split the cost of care and don’t have anything to do with the quality of care. The four categories are bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
Bronze has the lowest premium but the highest costs when you actually need care. This is a great option for those trying to keep insurance payments low but wants a safety net if they ever suffer a serious illness or injury.
Silver has a slightly higher premium balanced out by lower costs of immediate care. Those who qualify for extra savings or want more coverage than bronze plans should look for this option.
Gold and platinum categories have high monthly premiums but the lowest costs when you need actual care. It’s best for higher-income families.
Plan and Network Types
There are also different plans and network types you need to consider. Your situation and needs will best inform which plans and networks you choose.
Exclusive Provider Organizations, for example, only cover services if you use providers and hospitals in your network. Health Maintenance Organizations similarly limit coverage to doctors contracted with the HMO.
Point of Service care allows you to contact providers from outside the network but offers larger discounts if you choose in-network doctors. Preferred Provider Organizations is similar, but you won’t have to pay fees or need referrals if you consult someone outside the network.
Total Costs for Healthcare
While you might be looking closely at your monthly premiums, remember that there are plenty of other cost-related factors at play. For example, deductibles are crucial for understanding your overall cost of care.
They determine how much you pay before your health insurance company starts contributing. Copayments and coinsurance costs also determine your end costs.
Always look at your budget to get a feel for how much you think you can pay, while also comparing different prices once you get an idea of which insurance companies you might want to work with.
How to Pick the Best Health Insurance in Texas
So how do you actually pick the best health insurance given all those factors?
This is something that even experts struggle with. It’s all based on your current situation and needs, but you can follow these next few steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your search:
When and Where to Enroll
If you’re a Texas resident, you can go to places like the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov, state marketplaces, or other key websites for the best health insurance. Keep an eye on when you can enroll for health insurance and plan accordingly.
Review All Plan Options
This might seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t review all their options closely.
Some might feel like the most basic plan is the best one even though they can benefit from reviewing their other options. Making sure you’re set up with the right categories and network types is key to picking the best insurance in Texas.
Look at Annual Costs
Make sure you’re looking at annual costs on top of your monthly fees. We already discussed how you need to get a bigger picture of your healthcare costs, so this step is important.
This also helps you budget based on what healthcare plan you need. Monthly premiums aren’t the entire story, folks.
Review How Much Healthcare You Actually Use
This is something that’ll also inform your overall costs and the plans you choose. If you’re relatively healthy, picking something that has lower premiums could be the ideal setup.
On the flip side, if you have a pre-existing condition or you need routine medical examinations, you should find plans that fit those needs.
We all know that healthcare is incredibly confusing, especially for first-time insurance shoppers. There are, however, systems in place to help you find the ideal situations.
Many of these insurance navigators and counselors offer free services. Their impartial yet expert advice can get you started on the right path.
There’s no need to go into this alone, so seeking the help of insurance experts and getting quality advice is a crucial step in getting health insurance in Texas.
Leverage Health Insurance Tips Today
Choosing health insurance is no doubt a little daunting, but you can follow our guide to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your search. Follow our tips to get the best health insurance in Texas today!
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