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How to Choose the Best Healthcare Plan for Your Budget

Healthcare Plan

As you begin the hunt for a health plan, there’s a lot to consider. Cost is undoubtedly one of the more critical aspects of choosing a plan, but you may also be concerned about coverage, local access, and other details. There are some difficult choices to make when it comes to cost versus coverage, but can you have the best of both worlds? Here are some options to consider.

Consider what your budget allows

Your healthcare expenses will be a significant part of your budget, so it’s crucial you truly understand how much money you have to work with every month. If money seems to be too tight for a monthly health insurance expense, then it’s time to evaluate where your money goes and if there are better ways to optimize your income. If you’ve got outstanding balances on your credit cards, then make it a priority to find the fastest way to get out of debt so you can re-allocate those funds towards something as essential as your well-being. Your health should always come first, and anything that stands in the way of prioritizing that (like debt) should be gotten rid of as quickly as possible.

Consider whether you have any planned major medical expenses coming soon

Taking an insurance plan with a lower monthly payment might be good if you don’t have any major medical expenses in the near future, but might end up costing you more money later. Insurance companies are betting on you not hitting your yearly deductible when you take a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), and they would be right. High deductible plans typically have a lower monthly premium and require you to pay a higher amount of your medical costs throughout the year until your deductible is reached. Most people on HDHPs won’t come close to reaching their deductible, so they end up paying more than they’ve budgeted.

However, suppose you do have any major medical bills coming up. In that case, you should evaluate if a Silver or Gold healthcare plan would be worth the increased monthly expense as you could end up saving thousands solely by having a lower deductible.

Research your state’s guidelines for receiving subsidies to offset your costs

After the Affordable Care Act passed, many states began offering subsidies to offset the monthly premiums healthcare providers were charging that were available on their state-specific health insurance marketplace sites. If your healthcare is through a state-run program like this, you may be eligible for income-based subsidies for your health insurance. Some states will even cover 100% of your monthly premium if your income is under the state-based poverty level.

The bottom line

In conclusion, it is possible to get a good healthcare plan while maintaining a budget. Although insurance is a considerable expense, it’s also an investment in your health and general well-being that can ensure you’re able to live a long, healthy life. The key to paying for healthcare is to research and understand your plan options and to make sure that you get the most out of the money you spend. Use these tips as a way to find the best plan for your budget, and you’ll be well on your way toward protecting your and your family’s health for the long term.