While the process of finding NJ health insurance has, in the past, been complicated and fraught with peril, today, the same search can be quick and easy. That’s because there is so much information available online and accessible 24 hours a day. If you’d like to look for coverage in the middle of the night, you can, with just a few clicks of a mouse.
It’s important to look at several plans so that you can compare coverage, costs and ease of access. There are many considerations when it comes to getting the ideal New Jersey policy. It would be easy of the only factor was cost, but it isn’t. Your family’s health profile is going to be the biggest factor in the kind of plan you choose.
At the same time, you need to be able to afford your plan. The monthly premium, which is what you pay each month for your policy, can be significant. If you do not pay it on time you risk losing your coverage, so it must be a priority every month.
If you have a job that pays part or all of your premiums, you are fortunate. But many Americans are not in this situation. That is why the Affordable Care Act was passed. Make certain you can afford your monthly premium.
What is a deductible?
Every NJ health plan has an annual deductible. That is the part of a medical bill you must pay before a company will pay anything. The deductible amount must be met by the patient and until then, the insurer will not cover any bills at all.
Plans with higher deductibles are normally cheaper, but they are best for younger, healthy people who are not going to incur ongoing health care expenses.
You may find higher-deductible plans that offer a free doctor’s visit a year and emergency coverage. Young, healthy people may find that is all they need.
If you are older or have children you are using health care more often and may be racking up the doctor’s bills, especially if you have several young children. You can see how this would make a difference in the kind of policy you elect to purchase.
What is a copay?
A copayment means that the patient must pay a set fee to the doctor or hospital for each service or treatment. You might have a $35 co-pay for a doctor visit, for example, and the NJ health insurance plan will pick up the rest.
“Co-insurance” is the percentage of costs the patient is required to pay after meeting the deductible. If you have a $1,000 deductible, for example, you would pay that and then your contract will cover 80 percent of each medical visit. That is just an example, a company could pay or less. But in this example, your plan pays 80 percent and you would pay the other 20 percent. That is called co-insurance.
There was a day when companies let you see whatever health care provider you liked. Not today, when it is more customary for plans to have their own network of providers. Using them will allow you to recover your full benefit. That’s because the provider will reimburse a larger portion of the fee than if you go to someone not in your network. In fact, you may not be reimbursed anything if you go out-of-network for care.
The health insurance policy period
A policy may be a calendar year or may not be a calendar year but you need to know your policy period.
overage is based on each company’s policy period—the annual period during which the customer must meet all deductibles and policy maximums.
If you have not had your own primary care doctor, you might be going to an emergency room for sore throats and other non-critical matters. Many Americans do this. But if you do, that can make you responsible for a higher co-pay than if you used your own doctor. It’s cheaper and quicker to see your own primary care physician, which is why most insurers ask that you choose one. Use of an emergency room when it is not an emergency keeps health care costs high overall.
If you take regular prescription medications, a benefit that can help you pay for them is a must, especially with the high cost of medication today. Find a plan under which you are only responsible for a co-pay on a prescription. If you can take generic drugs, you may find costs are even lower.
Armed with this information, you should be ready to start finding plans that is best fit for you and your family—and your budget.