What Should I Ask When Seeking a Plan?

What Should I Ask When Seeking a Plan?

What Should I Ask When Seeking a Plan?

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You now have more choices than ever when looking for a health insurance plan. Whether you go directly through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, the Health Insurance Marketplace or a licensed insurance agent, you can find for a policy that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Open Enrollment for health insurance begins each November. During this time, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to apply for a new individual or family plan, keep your current plan or pick a new one. Of course, as with any big purchase, like a car or a TV, there are a few things you should do to prepare before choosing one. As your search for health insurance coverage begins, ask yourself:

What provider network does the plan use?

  • Is your current doctor in the plan’s network, and is this important to you?
  • Have you checked to see if your doctors, specialists, hospitals or urgent care centers are in the plan’s network that you selected? You can use the BCBSNM Provider Finder to check.
  • Is your doctor in the plan’s network?

How often do you visit the doctor?

  • Do you only get sick two or three times during the year?
  • Do you have a health condition that results in frequent visits to the doctor or hospital?
  • Are you thinking about having a child?

Do you take prescription drugs?

  • Can you take a generic drug, or do you take name-brand drugs that may cost you more each month? Drug coverage may differ by plan. You can see the formulary, or drug lists, for each plan we offer as well.
  • Note what the drug deductibles and copays are for each plan. If you take a lot of medicine for a health issue, you may be better off paying a slightly higher monthly premium to have lower drug costs.

How much can you spend?

  • Every plan is different, so before shopping, figure out your budget. How much will you be able to spend every month? Think about the monthly premium, but also keep in mind the deductible, copayments and other out-of-pocket costs to figure out what you could end up paying within a year, should you have unexpected medical bills.
  • If you think you may be able to get financial assistance, learn more about subsidies leaving site icon to help lower your monthly payment.

Do you need dental coverage?

  • Some plans include dental coverage or you can buy a separate dental plan.
  • If you know you will need a lot of dental work next year, such as an implant or kid’s braces, you may want to add a Health Spending Account to cover out-of-pocket costs.

What do the plans look like?

  • There are many plans to choose from that can meet your needs and budget.

Now that you know the questions to ask yourself, do you have any questions for us? Call us at 888-809-1136 or log in and ask below.

Original publish November 9, 2016; Revised 2017-2021