What Questions Should You Ask When Choosing a Covered California Insurance Plan?
If you need any sort of medical insurance in California, the Covered California insurance system can be a big help. This free state-run service helps connect everyday people with the insurance plans and brokers who can help them best keep up with their healthcare needs.
However, if someone is just starting to look into their options in Covered California insurance plans, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of plans out there and almost uncountable potential combinations of services from different providers. A good California insurance broker can help you sort through your options, but it’s important to do your research. Know your own medical needs and plans for the future, and you’ll be in a much better position to pick Covered California insurance coverage!
With our years of experience helping Californians put together the perfect insurance plan for their needs, we know what information is crucial. These are the most important questions for you to consider, research, and answer before you choose a Covered California insurance plan.
Vital Questions to Ask When Picking Between Covered California Insurance Options
1 – How much will it cost me when I’m healthy?
For many people who are in good health, and don’t foresee problems in the near future, health insurance is an expense they’d prefer to minimize. This is completely understandable. You shouldn’t discount the possibility of accident or disaster, but a person in good health shouldn’t be overpaying for insurance either.
In this case, you’ll want to look specifically at the monthly premiums, as well as your out-of-pocket expenses for basic care such as routine checkups and physicals.
2 – What will I be paying if something goes wrong?
The other side of the financial coin is what the insurance could cost you if you do get into an accident, or have some sort of unexpected medical emergency. Many of the cheapest plans make up for it by having extremely high co-pays or other out-of-pocket expenses which will reduce the amount of actual protection you receive.
The best insurance plans will be those that have relatively low premiums, while still providing you with enough insurance that you can feel secure in the case of misfortune.
3 – Will my prescription drugs be covered?
If you’re currently on any kind of prescription drugs – particularly those without generic equivalents – it’s vital to make sure that your insurance plan will cover them going forward. You’ll want to make a list of any prescriptions your own, including the brand names as well as any generics if they exist. Then compare this against the covered prescriptions in the plans you’re looking at.
This is a situation where a good California insurance broker can take a lot of the work away since they have access to easy comparison tools.
4 – Will my doctors be in the network?
If you have particular doctors or clinics you prefer to visit, you’ll want to keep receiving care from them after you get your new insurance policy. Unfortunately, not all networks include all doctors, and out-of-network visits can be extremely expensive.
Always make sure to check the list of network doctors, to see if yours are included. You shouldn’t have to switch doctors except in the most unusual of circumstances.
5 – How easy will it be to make use of the insurance?
There are a lot of variations in how much paperwork and bureaucracy you have to deal with when using your insurance policy. For example, some plans require you to declare a primary care provider and expect you to preferentially visit that doctor or clinic. Other plans allow you to go to any in-network doctor without such a requirement.
You should know about their processes before signing up with a plan, otherwise, you could end up under restrictions that you weren’t expecting.
6 – Are alternative care options covered?
There are numerous alternative forms of health care out there, from chiropractors to home-birth midwives, who may or may not be covered by any given insurance plan. How important are alternative care options to you?
If this isn’t a factor in your decision, that’s fine. However, if you do prefer alternative options in some situations, you’ll need to do some digging to find insurance plans that will cover your visits. You may want to contact your alternative provider directly and ask them which insurance, if any, will cover their services.
7 – How easy is it to change plans or coverage?
You never know what the future holds, and it’s always possible that the medical needs of yourself or your family will change in a short period. If you sign up for a particular insurance plan, will you be locked into that coverage? Or will there be ways that you can change or add-on to your existing plan without incurring large fees?
This probably won’t be a primary concern when choosing a Covered California insurance plan, but it’s something you should be aware of. If something goes unexpectedly wrong, you don’t want to be left without insurance.
8 – How can you get help or advice with your plan?
People don’t often think about customer service when choosing an insurance plan, but it’s a service that you’ll be glad to have if you need it. We recommend doing a little research online into people’s experiences contacting customer service, or other representatives of the company, and how well things went.
If you have questions or get into trouble, you need to know that you’ll be able to get the answers you need from your insurance company without any hassle. Also, it’s a big help if the insurance plan has some sort of 24/7 phone line or chat room connection you can contact if you have questions or a medical emergency.
9 – Are there any other perks or benefits to a plan you’re considering?
Finally, see if there are any extra benefits you might receive from picking one plan over another. Many insurance companies offer rewards or incentives that relate to healthy living, such as discounts at gyms or healthy food stores. After all, it’s in their interest to encourage you to live a healthy life.
These perks shouldn’t be a primary consideration, but they can be excellent as a tiebreaker if you’re choosing between plans which are otherwise nearly identical.
Good & Associates Has You Covered
We’re a professional and fully licensed California insurance broker with years of experience helping match people to the perfect Covered California insurance plan! We’ll talk with you to understand your needs, them make use of our extensive connections to put together a plan that you can afford while keeping you healthy for years to come.