I am a member of twittermoms and they have teamed up with Aetna and asked me to share my thoughts on the topic of planning our next years health insurance benefit with my readers. You may read more about that request here.
For most working people it is time for your insurance open enrollment to begin. This can be a very daunting and time consuming task. I usually put this task off until I am able to sit down with a note pad, pencil and a calculator. I like to have the house quiet also when I work on choosing my families health insurance benefit. I feel that the choice that I make for health insurance is an important decision and it needs to be done with a lot of thought. This will be the insurance that we have for a whole year and it needs to be taylored to our individual family needs.
While I am thinking about choosing our next years health insurance benefit a few time and money saving tips come to mind. My 5 tips for planning your next years health insurance benefits in under an hour are below.
1. Do a quick review over your last year in medical needs. Estimate how many prescriptions your family needs over a typical year. Also estimate how many well and sick visits each family member needs in a year. Do you have any ongoing illness that needs routine attention and doctor visits?
2. Calculate how much you were actually out of pocket last year for medical bills. Be sure to include any over the counter medicine, prescriptions and doctor visits. This will help you when deciding how much to contribute to a Health Reimbursement or Health Savings Account. Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts are ways to save pre-tax dollars for health care expenses.
3. Look ahead and into the next year. Once we reach a certain age our doctors like to see us more often. At certain yearly intervals it is time for a mammogram or colonoscopy. Do you have any routine well exams comming up in the next year?
4. Compare the medical care options that your company may provide you with. I always compare premiums to services offered. Find a plan that offers what your family will use and benefit from. Is the plan affordable? Can you purchase the plan without it taking a toll on your families budget?
5. Definately check to make sure that your families doctors are in-network on the plan that you choose. If your doctor isn't on the plan you then need to decide if you are comfortable changing doctors so that you may use the plan at its best benefit.
I know that choosing a health insurance plan for your family is a time consuming task. I hope that some of my suggestions above may help you make the best choice of what you have available to you.
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Aetna blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.