Home > Insurance > Top 10 Health Insurance Considerations

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


Quality health insurance consistently ranks as the most desired employee benefit. According to the Harvard Business Review, 88 percent of employees ranked employee health insurance as a the top employee benefit consideration. Which makes sense considering that you can’t put a price on a clean bill of health.

Whether covered by an employer, or shopping for health insurance on your own, there are many considerations to have on your radar. No two policies are the same — there are degrees of coverage, varying price, various restrictions, and much more to keep in mind when seeking health insurance.

1. In-network doctors

One of the first things you will want to check is which doctors are in-network. Navigating the bureaucracy of health insurance networks can be frustrating, but it is an important part of saving money on care. If you have a doctor you like, or one that is conveniently near your home, you might want to check that they are in-network before settling on a health insurance policy.

2. Benefits

This is one of the most variable considerations to keep in mind. Each plan will offer different benefits, and with the right amount of legwork you can find one that best caters to your particular health needs. Do you need regular physical therapy? Do you have specific medication needs? Ask yourself these questions to guide your selection process.

3. Policy type

You’ll come to find out that not all health insurance policies deliver the same service — there are many different “types” of health insurance. The most popular types include HMO, PPO, EPO, and POS plans. These all have features that make them unique, but rather than get into the weeds listing all the benefits and drawbacks of each, we offer this simple advice: be sure to comparison shop. Look for a summary of benefits (which can be found on an online marketplace) and weigh your options from there.

4. Prescriptions

For many Americans, the cost of prescriptions is one of the most expensive, non-negotiable elements of health care. Americans paid an estimated $457 billion on prescriptions in 2015, which is comprises over 16 percent of all health care expenditures. And, considering over 60 percent of Americans take medications every day, this should be a primary concern when deciding on a health insurance plan.

5. I’m healthy so why bother?

Many young people choose to forgo health insurance all together, and endure the tax penalty, because they think they will never use it — this is ill-advised. For one, even healthy people require regular care, whether that means annual physicals, x-rays, etc. Plus, in the event of an emergency, you would be left fronting a costly, potentially six-figure bill which could drain your bank account and tank your credit scores. While the individual mandate was repealed in 2017, individuals are still legally required to have health insurance through 2019. But, legality aside, it’s best to pay for health insurance now to protect yourself from costly emergencies in the future.

6. Out-of-pocket expenses

The cost of health insurance is a balance between out-of-pocket costs vs premiums. Basically, low out-of-pocket with result in high premiums and vice versa. This is a good time to evaluate your overall health and determine whether you need a lot of medical services or not. For example, if you’re relatively healthy, it might be worth taking on a high deductible in order to benefit from low monthly premiums.

7. Support options

Let’s face it: the healthcare system is confusing. But, thankfully, many insurance plans offer a variety of customer support options to help bridge the knowledge gap for the everyday policyholder. Whether this is a 24/7 support line, or something more intuitive like telemedicine or a mobile app, be on the lookout for policies that offer the support features you need.

8. Chronic diseases

If you suffer from a chronic disease, your health insurance shopping process will be a little different. Usually people are willing to take on large deductibles in favor of low premiums, but if you expect many doctor visits in a year, you might want to approach your shopping a little differently. If you have any reason to visit the doctor often — whether that’s diabetes, cancer, or any number of maladies — search for the lowest deductible possible to keep your medical bills within reason.

9. Filling gaps

Despite how plans are advertised, there is no such thing as a comprehensive health insurance policy. Inevitably, there will be some gaps that might need to be filled. Whether you have many prescriptions, chiropractic care, massage therapy or any other, less common medical needs, you can expect to pay out-of-pocket or seek out a supplemental plan to cover costs.

10. Family coverage

Last, but certainly not least, one of the most important considerations when picking a health plan will be your family. All of the above considerations are at play, and compounded, with each family member. Plus, you will need to find a plan that accommodates all members of the family. When multiple family members factor into your health insurance decision it will be a balancing act, so plan accordingly.

If you’re concerned about your credit, you can check your three credit reports for free once a year. To track your credit more regularly, Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card is an easy-to-understand breakdown of your credit report information that uses letter grades—plus you get a free credit score updated every 14 days.

You can also carry on the conversation on our social media platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook and leave us a tweet on Twitter.

Image credit: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them. Compensation is not a factor in the substantive evaluation of any product.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team