In a world where healthcare costs are rising, families are keeping a closer eye on their health insurance. You want to make sure you’re spending money wisely, especially with your insurance. Let’s face it: health insurance is expensive. Are you wasting money on health insurance?
It’s not fun to make costly mistakes on your health insurance. When you’re trying to afford the right coverage for your family, this is even more important. What are the most common mistakes and how can you avoid them? In this guide, we’ll explore the 5 mistakes you should avoid when choosing health insurance for your family.
1. Not Having Insurance
The first mistake is simply not having insurance in the first place. Recently, the individual insurance mandate was taken away. That means there’s no longer a penalty if you don’t have insurance coverage.
However, as a family, you simply can’t afford not to have insurance. Even catastrophic or high-deductible insurance isn’t a safe option. You never know what can happen in the future, and the cost of not having insurance is much higher than the monthly cost of insurance coverage. For example, it can cost you as much as $3000 for a minor trip to the emergency room if you don’t have insurance.
2. Missing Open Enrollment
There’s a nationwide open enrollment period when anyone can sign up for health insurance. This happens every year, and the dates depend on what state your in. For the most part, this takes place in November and December. If you need coverage for the next year, you need to make sure you’re paying attention to that open enrollment deadline to avoid a fee.
There are a few reasons you’re allowed to miss the open enrollment. You need a qualifying life event like losing employer-based coverage, moving to a new city, experiencing a divorce, and so on. These major life events give you a 60-day window to enroll.
3. Not Checking Your Network
Did you know that you might have to pay more for out-of-network providers? It’s true. Always check your health insurance network when choosing a plan for your family. If you already have a healthcare provider, you’ll want to make sure they’re in-network.
If they’re not in-network, you might still be able to see them under your insurance plan. However, you can expect to pay higher out-of-pocket costs per visit. Pay attention to your network when you sign up to avoid paying more for the same service.
4. Skipping Supplemental Coverage
Did you know traditional health insurance doesn’t cover anything? There are a lot of gaps in coverage you might not know about. In particular, dental and vision insurance are not included under traditional health insurance plans except for children.
You can’t afford to skip this coverage. Luckily, adding supplemental coverage is easy and affordable. These HealthMarkets ideas for dental coverage will get you started on your search for the right supplemental plans.
5. Forgetting About HSAs
HSAs are Health Savings Accounts, and they come with a lot of benefits. First, they’re tax-deductible so you can save big on your tax bill. Next, you can use these funds to pay for a broad range of qualifying medical expenses like treatments, office visits, and even prescriptions.
An HSA can help you afford healthcare even with insurance. The funds from your HSA carry over and grow from year to year, so they’re the best way to grow your own money for health purposes.
Be Smart About Health Insurance
Is your health insurance working for you? It’s important to always consider how you’re spending money on health insurance, especially when you’re finding coverage for your entire family. You deserve coverage that works for you every step of the way.
These health insurance mistakes above cost families a lot of money every year. How can you do better this year when it comes to your own health insurance?