Evaluate your existing policies
Now that you have educated yourself on the different types of health insurance, and determined your unique needs, it is time to evaluate any existing policies that you have. Remember that in the first step you located your policies and hopefully put them all together in one place where you and at least one other person can find them. In this step, you will examine the policies you have to determine that you have the right type of health coverage for you and your family.
Get your health policy (or benefits guide) out and read through it to make sure that you understand it. If you don't, you might need to reread the education step. Once you understand the specific provisions of the policy, compare them to your unique needs.
There are many things to consider, each with their own unique set of questions. By considering these questions carefully as you evaluate your coverage, you will determine what changes you need to make in your health plan to best protect yourself and your family.
- Does my health insurance at least cover major medical expenses?
- How well does my policy cover my children, and should I consider additional coverage?
- How much is my health coverage costing me on a monthly basis?
- What are the deductibles I must pay before the insurance begins to help cover my costs?
- After I have met the deductible, what part of my costs are paid by the plan?
- How often do I visit the doctor and how much do I have to pay at each visit?
- Can I afford more coverage that will pay most of my medical expenses?
- If I use doctors outside a plan's network, how much more will I pay to get care?
- Are there any limits to how much I must pay in case of a major illness?
Suitability of Care
- What doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers are part of the plan?
- Are there enough of the kinds of doctors I want to see?
- Where will I go for care? Are these places near where I work or live?
- Do I need to get permission before I see a medical specialist?
- Is the prescription medication which I need covered by the plan?
- Does the plan cover the expenses of delivering a baby?
- How do independent government organizations rate the different plans?
- What do my friends say about their experience with a specific plan?
- What does my doctor say about his/her experience with a specific plan?
Note the changes that you want or need to make for the next step. Make detailed notes to remind you of precisely what you want and why you want the changes.
Step 5 - Make the Necessary Changes