By Bob Brooks
September 11, 2014
So, how well informed are you about your health insurance? How much time did you spend researching that health plan that you are currently using? The more important question - can you afford a major health claim?
A recent survey found that Americans spent on average 15 minutes making a decision about their health insurance. Other studies would show that they as much as 10 hours was spent doing the research to buy a car or plan a vacation.
Here were some other statistics about health insurance -
42% of workers say they waste up to $750 each year on mistakes with their insurance benefits.
• 73% of workers have trouble understanding what is covered by their policies.
• 64% often don't understand changes in their coverage.
• 51% say the amount they paid for health care in 2014 was considerably or somewhat more than in 2013.
• 33% of workers expect to pay $1,000 or more for out-of-pocket expenses in 2014
Like it or not, health insurance premiums are going up and health expenses are going to cost more as well. A recent study suggested that individual health insurance policies could go up as much as 30% next year.
Having said that, it makes sense to take more than 15 minutes to figure this out. For most health insurance policies you need to know at the very least the critical numbers such as what is the deductible for each person in your family?
When selecting a healthcare policy, it makes sense to compare the prices at various levels of deductibles. The higher the deductible the lower the premium and vice versa. You might be tempted to go for the higher deductible plan because the premium is cheaper. However, it might make sense to pay the higher premium in order to insure against paying a much higher out of pocket in the event that you have a large insurance claim.
What is the total amount of out of pocket that your family will pay before the health insurance pays 100%? This is a critical number that most people need to understand. In the event of a major healthcare claim, could you afford the total family out of pocket?
You never expect to be in this position. Then again, you never expect to get the call that you have an unexpected illness. It can happen.
Bottom line – Health insurance is going to become a major part of everyone’s budget. Make sure you take the time to research and get the right policy for your family. It does take more than 15 minutes.