Everyone wants the best. No matter what you may be shopping for, most of us want to get the best we can afford, and we want to get the most for our money.
And this is true for health insurance, as well.
When it comes to determining the best health insurance, Sonoma County residents need look no further than the professionals at J.C. Lewis Insurance Services.
4 Things To Look For When It Comes To Buying Health Insurance
The secret for determining the best health insurance in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, or anywhere else in Northern California is to first determine your own needs and preferences.
Health insurance is not a “one-size-fits-all” product and what may be the “best” health insurance for one individual may be distinctly different from what works best for another. With that in mind, let’s look at the major considerations when shopping for the best health insurance in Sonoma County for you.
Premiums are the amount of money you’ll pay every month for health insurance coverage, and they are the most obvious cost related to your health insurance.
According to U.S. News & World Report,
“While it’s important to find insurance that fits your budget, the cheapest plan may not be the best. Low premiums can mean higher deductibles or a restricted network. Instead of buying based on premiums alone, the monthly cost should be just one criteria you consider when selecting a plan.”
2. Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Most health insurance in Sonoma County, as elsewhere, comes with various out-of-pockets costs. For example, a deductible is the amount you’ll pay upfront before insurance coverage begins. You may also have copayments and coinsurance once a deductible is met. A copayment is a flat fee for certain services, such as doctor visits, while coinsurance is a percentage of the total cost of care.
3. Prescription Drug Coverage
While most health insurance in Sonoma County has prescription drug coverage, it’s important to know if your specific prescriptions will be covered. Most insurance plans make use of formularies, which are lists of covered prescription drugs.
These formularies categorize prescriptions into tiers. Typically, generic drugs will have a low copay, while brand-name drugs usually cost more.
4. Plan Types
There are various plan and network types with the most common being HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO plans.
According to the website HealthCare.Gov,
“There are different types of Marketplace health insurance plans designed to meet different needs. Some types of plans restrict your provider choices or encourage you to get care from the plan’s network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical service providers. Others pay a greater share of costs for providers outside the plan’s network.”
Other Factors To Consider For The Best Health Insurance In Sonoma County
It’s important, too, to consider how much health care you need.
How often do you typically see your primary care provider? Do you have ongoing health needs or are you in your 20s and relatively healthy?
For some, a health savings account, often called an HSA, combined with a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) can be the best health insurance option. However, keep in mind that only those with a qualified high-deductible health insurance plan are eligible to contribute to an HSA.
For example, an article from NPR noted that not everyone needs the same level or breadth of health insurance coverage.
“Picking the right insurance plan involves guesswork about how many health issues you’re likely to face in the coming year, which could affect the way costs break down. Your age is usually a useful proxy for this, but there’s always a lot of unknowns, like a surprise cancer diagnosis or a car accident.
Alongside these unknowns, leverage what you do know about your health needs. If you have a doctor you like, or if you know you’re going to take a certain prescription drug, look for a plan that covers them. HealthCare.gov allows you to add your provider and your prescription drugs as you browse plans to see whether they’re covered.”
Another factor that can make one plan better for you than another with the same costs is the range of additional benefits offered.
One source stressed the importance of reviewing summaries of benefits provided by various plans to see if they provide a wider scope of services.
For example, some plans may have better coverage for such services as physical therapy, fertility treatments, or mental health care, while others might have better emergency coverage.
Many plans also offer benefits such as wellness programs and online portals for tracking claims, making appointments, and connecting with health care professionals via video chats. In addition, common benefits include gym membership discounts, free counseling sessions, and even legal consultations.
All these considerations should be evaluated when deciding on a plan that’s best suited for you and your family.
Get Help Finding The Best Health Insurance Sonoma County Offers
J.C. Lewis Insurance has been a local, family-owned firm based in Sonoma County since 1979, and our team of expert brokers offers individual and family dental insurance plans.
We also provide small business and individual health insurance plans from only the leading health insurance carriers that are licensed to do business in California.
In addition to being experienced, professional brokers, we are licensed and certified by each of these insurance carriers to offer coverage to individuals, families, and small group employers in addition to Medicare supplemental and prescription drug plans for seniors.
When you’re shopping for vision, dental, or health insurance for your employees, or for you and your family, you probably have several questions and concerns.
At J.C. Lewis Insurance Services we welcome your questions about insurance coverage and you can be confident that we will help you find the right solution.