There are three major things to consider when determining how many health insurance extras you need. Lifestyle, overall health, and prescriptions are the main things to think about before tackling which policy is best for you. If you aren’t sure what level of coverage you need, read on.
Your Lifestyle, Budget, and Genetics
The first thing to consider when reviewing your health insurance and any extras or coinsurance you might need is whether or not your insurance company is providing you with a health plan that meets your lifestyle needs. Take a look at your current insurance policy and look for any exclusions and out-of-pocket costs you are required to payout. Coverage gaps can be a bigger problem for some than others, depending on the overall lifestyle.
If you are someone who is highly active, doesn’t have any sort of on-going chronic condition, and stays fit, extra benefits may not be necessary. For you, a higher deductible for the peace of mind that you have catastrophic care coverage in case something changes might be enough. At the same time, that active lifestyle may also mean you want a coverage policy that includes preventative things like gym memberships.
At the same time, genetics is something to consider. If you have a family history of serious illness, even at a young age, you might want more coverage just in case. It might even be worth a conversation with your doctor or even screening for genetic risk.
The open enrollment period is a great time to look at the coverage you have, compare it against your lifestyle, and make changes to your health insurance plan accordingly.
Your Health Conditions and Risks
If you have a family history of certain illnesses or a chronic health condition, you likely already have at least a minimal level of coverage. However, because of this, you may want a policy with extras. For example, some basic coverages don’t include coverage for vision and dental. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, this alone may be a reason to grab a plan with extras and even more so if you have a family history of glaucoma.
Your Prescriptions and Coverage
When choosing your coverage during special enrollment periods, be sure to think about how that coverage will be used. If you have a specialist for an ongoing condition, for example, you’ll want to be sure that your new insurance company would cover that doctor even if they are out of network. For some health insurance coverage plans, this would simply mean a referral from your primary care doctor, but not always. Other plans would require this to be considered and extra and might mean a higher monthly payment. Your best bet is to do your research and not be afraid to ask questions.
Prescription medications are no different. Whether an ongoing medication or a short-term treatment, some coverage add-ons might mean coverage for things like alternative medications and even doctor visits. Maybe you have cancer and you’re looking for not only the traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but an immune therapy, too. Having health insurance coverage extras will mean the difference between little to no bill and payment all on your own.
In the end, coverage is a personal decision for everyone. By weighing your lifestyle, genetics, and medication needs against your current plan or what you’d pay with no coverage at all, you’ll have a good idea of what level of coverage you’ll need.
If you aren’t sure where to start, have an honest conversation with your healthcare provider before making any big changes. They can help you to make decisions based on your specific medical history and it will be a conversation you’ll thank yourself for. Happy insurance shopping!