How to Find the Best Health Insurance for Your Situation

The right health insurance will depend on your unique life circumstances. Your age, health requirements, location, and family dynamic will all play a role in the decision-making process.

Before taking the next step, consider the types of extras you will need both now and in the future. For example, are you over the age of 65? Do you need prescription drugs, dental, or vision services? When you are ready to learn about some of the available options you can compare healthcare plans — including Medicare Advantage plans — side by side.

Here are our top tips for finding the best health insurance for your situation:

Your Age Matters
There will be different health insurance options available depending on how old you are. A younger person under the age of 26 can be covered by their parent’s plan. If you do not have health insurance you may be able to purchase your own from a private company. Alternatively, you may be eligible for The Affordable Care Act (ACA). With an ACA you have a choice of plans with no usage limits and no prerequisites for approval.

Most U.S. citizens over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare. It is important to note that while Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does offer coverage for hospital and other medical expenses, there are some limitations. Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) offer supplementary coverage, including vision, dental and prescription drug coverage. Because Medicare Advantage plans are offered from private insurance companies, they vary. Be sure to research so you can compare Medicare Advantage plans side by side.

Other Ways to Get Health Insurance
There are other ways to get health insurance. If you are lucky you will be provided with a family plan from either your employer or your partner’s employer.

Military personnel may be entitled to health insurance through TRICARE or the Veteran’s Association.
You should always read the fine print and ensure everything you need is covered. Some items such as nursing, physical therapy, and other specialty fields may not be automatically included in every plan.

HMOs vs PPOs
When you are ready to choose a health insurance company you will be asked whether you want an HMO or a PPO. HMO stands for “Health Maintenance Organization” and PPO is “Preferred Provider Organization.”

With an HMO you will typically see lower costs and have access to an extensive list of health care services. The disadvantage is you will need to see professionals in the insurer’s own network in order to reap the benefits.

A PPO is a more flexible option and you will still have lower copayments. While the premiums may be higher, you will have the choice to use your preferred health care professionals.

Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Part A and Part B can be boosted with a Medicare Advantage plan. Any fees will be merged and depending on your plan you could receive a range of extras.

These plans usually include Part D, which reduces the cost of medications and drugs. If you have Medicare it is recommended you apply for Part D as most people will need prescriptions sometime in their life.

Ask Questions and Seek Advice
If you are unsure about what insurance plan is right for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice. Your unique lifestyle, age, employment status, and healthcare needs will all have an impact on your final decision.

Read the fine print and decide whether or not you want to use your preferred provider, or if you are prepared to be flexible. With so many options on the market, it may take some time to find the best fit.

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