Working for a company that provides your health insurance plan is a tremendous benefit. If you are lucky enough, your company may even pay your total monthly cost for your insurance. Even if your company does not pay it all and pays a small monthly fee for health coverage, this is still a great benefit. But what if your company does not cover you, or you are an independent contractor? Finding health coverage on your own can be a daunting task.
An insurance broker is an excellent resource in getting you through researching various insurance companies and what plans they offer. They can help you go through the best health plans in Massachusetts and guide you in your decision-making process to make sure you have exactly what you need and can afford.
Working With an Insurance Broker
Since an insurance broker is not working with a particular insurance company, the broker will not be trying to sell you that company’s insurance. Instead, the broker will be working for you by researching various insurance companies based on your needs and present you with your best options.
How to Compare Health Plans
Even with the assistance of a broker, it is best to become familiar with certain terminology and what they mean before starting your health plan research. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum signify what percentage the insurance company pays and what rate you will pay. Bronze plans may pay only 60% of your cost, and you will pay the remaining 40%. Silver may pay 70%; Gold 80%; and Platinum 90%. It is essential to understand that the more the insurance carrier pays, the higher you will pay per month for your health plan. Understanding this will allow you to balance what plan works for you within your budget.
You should also understand what the terms premium, deductible, and co-payment mean. Premium refers to the monthly amount you will pay to the insurance carrier. Deductible refers to the total amount you will pay for receiving medical attention before the insurance company starts paying. This is an annual amount that renews each year. The final term, co-payment refers to the portion you will need to pay at the time of your medical service.
You will also need to understand the differences between an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), and an EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization). Each of these has different requirements regarding whether or not you have to visit a medical professional within their network. Staying within the network can lower your out-of-pocket expenses.
Massachusetts Health Care Law
Having health insurance is a Massachusetts state law. There are many options in Massachusetts for healthcare, but making sure you have the best option for you is critical for your health and your welfare. This can be a tedious and stressful process.
An insurance broker can assist you in understanding the variables of health insurance plans. Being better prepared and understanding the terminology, your personal healthcare needs, and your budget will benefit you and the broker when finding the best plan.