What Health Insurance Plan Should I Get?

Health care marketplace can be confusing. While an affordable plan might appear on paper, it could include high deductibles or expensive copays that make it unsuitable for everyone.

As you make your selections, consider your family’s medical needs. Think about which doctors and medications you utilize regularly before eliminating plans that don’t offer coverage of those providers in-network.


Cost of health plans includes monthly premiums, out-of-pocket costs such as copays and coinsurance premiums, and the deductible amount. Once your reach your out-of-pocket maximum annually before medical coverage kicks in. There may be national average prices for health insurance policies; however prices can differ by state depending on factors such as your income level, premium subsidies available to you, type of plan you select etc.

Your family size and prescription needs will play an integral part in the cost of health insurance plans, with comprehensive plans being more costly than preventive ones. Be sure to review which doctors are networked with your plan of choice before making a final decision; otherwise you may need to change providers.

Use the Marketplace’s Compare Plans tool to quickly and easily find a plan that fits both your needs and budget. Filter by price and plan category (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum). Each plan offers detailed costs and benefits information about itself in its summary page; additionally you can use this tool to calculate potential monthly costs by inputting information such as income, household size and location.

Your out-of-pocket costs will also vary based on the plan type and location. Preferred provider organization plans (PPOs) typically have lower out-of-pocket expenses while exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans typically incur the highest out-of-pocket expenses.

When choosing a plan, you need to weigh the benefits of lower monthly payments against the risk of incurring large out-of-pocket expenses in case of medical emergencies or illness. To make an informed decision, take into account how often care will be needed during the year and consider your deductible amounts; for those with multiple expenses who need care often enough, plans with higher deductibles might save them money over time.


If you are transitioning out of your parent’s plan or participating in open enrollment at work, it’s essential that you take time and care in selecting a health insurance plan that best meets your needs. A good way to do that is to ask yourself some simple questions:

How often will you and your family require medical care? If you anticipate frequent visits, select a plan with a lower deductible – this amount must be paid before healthcare plans start covering costs – though this could increase monthly premiums.

Corlette says another factor to keep in mind when shopping for health plans is whether they offer either health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO) networks. HMOs usually feature restrictive networks with primary care doctors who must make referrals for specialists, while PPOs often feature wider selections of providers without the need for primary care physicians to make such referrals.

Do you need prescription drug coverage? Review a plan’s formulary – which provides a list of medications covered by health insurance plans – or use a drug pricing tool to find out exactly how much a specific medication costs in the marketplace.

Checking that a plan includes your preferred doctors and medications is only half of what’s important; take time to explore additional benefits offered by health insurance companies like free telehealth services or 24/7 nurse lines that could save money by helping to reduce copays at doctor visits, or ensure you take exactly the dose prescribed for medications.

Determine whether you need a health insurance plan with in-network hospitals since out-of-network hospitals will cost more. This is particularly important if any members of your family have had serious medical conditions like heart disease or cancer in the past, such as cardiac arrhythmias. Every provider should offer an online list with hospitals and physicians included as in-network options for each plan they provide.

Quality of Care

Your choice of health plan could greatly influence the quality of care you receive. Some plans may have smaller networks that limit which doctors you can see while others require referrals before visiting specialists. Some plans also offer lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs and deductibles; when searching for comprehensive health insurance plans, look for ones that provide comprehensive benefits with limited out-of-pocket expenses when seeing providers from within their network.

As part of your search for an insurance plan, ensure your desired doctors are in its network. In-network physicians tend to charge less because the insurance company has negotiated discounted rates with them; out-of-network physicians tend to charge more as there’s no contract in place between themselves and them.

Also consider how often you will visit a doctor or hospital. Those living with chronic conditions may require more frequent trips to specialists for care than other individuals.

Ask any friends or family who currently use a particular health plan about their experiences with it. They could offer insight into customer support as well as how easy it is to file claims or use the website.

Some states offer health plan ratings based on clinical and consumer-reporting measures. Although the ratings don’t indicate the quality of care you will receive, they can help narrow your choices when shopping for new plans.

Health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act provide an ideal place to search for new health plans. You can easily compare plans and costs based on your unique needs, including whether or not you qualify for subsidies or cost-sharing reductions.

Access to Care

Accessing healthcare is vital, but choosing a health plan can affect its accessibility. Cost and coverages must be carefully considered when selecting one; and be mindful of any limitations on your choice of doctors and clinics (for instance if there’s one you prefer that’s outside your plan network, which could result in you paying much more than necessary for health services).

There are various health insurance plans available, from individual and family plans to employer-sponsored plans. Both public and private health plans provide various benefits that include doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays and more.

Private health insurance policies often allow for greater choice when selecting care providers compared to public programs, with lower monthly premiums and often higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs than public plans.

Visit the health insurance marketplace and review the summary of benefits for each plan available in your area, typically including details about cost and coverages as well as doctors/hospitals that make up each network.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum health insurance plans each have different costs and coverages; their deductibles (the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before receiving payments from their plans) tend to be higher for Bronze plans but generally offer lower monthly costs than Silver plans.

Contacting friends and family about their experiences with various plans can also be useful, although their coverages will likely be different than yours. They can offer insights such as customer service quality and user friendliness when using an online portal for the plan’s website or portal; additionally they may help determine whether their recommendation covers your preferred providers; in addition they could reveal any special benefits such as pediatric dental or vision coverage or weight management programs to address diabetes or similar medical conditions.