Deciding which health insurance plan to purchase is not a universal decision, but rather a highly personal one involving considerations such as benefits and budgetary constraints.
Shopping for health insurance is a challenging process for any consumer. Since California is made up of so many diverse individuals with many different ways of life, it is important for all Californians to know what factors to consider when shopping for the health insurance that is right for their situation.
Whether you are a young person with a new job who has not been working long enough to qualify for benefits, a family man with several children whose employer does not offer insurance, a college student who is no longer eligible for coverage under their parentsí plan or a senior whose Medicare benefits are inadequate, or a self-employed individual, making sure you get the right coverage at the right price is very important. However, there is so much to consider it can be intimidating.
Before you begin looking for insurance, have a plan in place. Decide what type of coverage you need by asking yourself questions like:
How often do both myself and my dependents need health services?
Do I or a family member have a pre-diagnosed condition that might preclude qualifying for some insurance plans?
Am I or a family member planning on becoming pregnant during the time this plan will be in affect? (Many individual plans do not cover prenatal or preventive care.)
How much can I afford to pay out-of-pocket for deductibles or services that are not covered?
Once you have thoroughly considered these issues, move on to your budget and decide how much you can realistically afford to pay for coverage. Remember, individual health insurance can be expensive; however, with the proper research and preparation, consumers can find the plan that is right for them.