States are beginning to release premium rates for policies that will be sold on their health insurance exchanges beginning on October 1.
The news can be confusing, however, and subject to interpretation — and “spin”. On a single day in July, for example, the Washington Post ran this headline: “Maryland Issues Insurance Rates That Are Among the Lowest in U.S.” On the same day, the Baltimore Sun ran this: “Premiums to Go Up as Much as 25 Percent Under Health Reform”.*
So, which is true?
Well, there’s a bit of truth to both sides. And that’s why consumers may find themselves in a quandary when it comes to choosing a health insurance plan.
How can the average American decipher the costs of a health insurance policy?
When shopping for health insurance, always be sure to compare apples to apples. Just looking at the monthly premium can be deceiving. Consider these questions:
- Is one policy’s lower premium offset by hefty co-insurance payments due at the time of service?
- Is the premium for one policy within your reach, but the doctor you’ve had for many years won’t accept that insurance, and in fact, your local hospital won’t either?
- Does the higher premium on one carrier’s plan provide your family with the coverage it needs, with little out-of-pocket expenses later?
- Which better meets your needs — a lower premium with a high deductible, or a higher premium with a lower deductible?
These are important questions to consider when looking at your own health insurance options. Likewise, keep this in mind as news channels continue to report on health insurance premiums.
Most importantly, be sure you fully understand exactly what you’re getting before you make any purchase.
Give us a call! We can help you think through all of these questions, and more!
* Source: National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), July 30, 2013