What Health Insurance Plan Is Right for You?

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

With the birth of my daughter just around the corner, my husband and I spent Sunday afternoon reviewing our family’s insurance coverage. Many times, the addition of a new family member means that a different provider or different type of plan becomes more beneficial overall.

If you are shopping for health insurance on your own or if you are covered through your (or your spouse’s) employer and your open-enrollment period is coming up, below are a few must-knows.

Most health insurance plans fall into one of the following two categories: HMOs or PPOs. When enrolled in an HMO, your co-payments tend to be reasonable, but you must stick to doctors within the network. Many times, you need approval from your primary caregiver in order to be entitled to specialist care or certain procedures.

With a PPO, you have much greater flexibility to choose your providers, but co-payments are typically higher and many PPOs have high deductibles. If you are young and healthy, many times it pays off to select a PPO. If, on the other hand, your children are sick often or you have a chronic condition, chances are you are better off with an HMO.

Whichever type of plan you opt for, there will be a number of different providers available. You can research them online at www.ncqa.org.

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