Injury and disease can strike at any time, any age, and the resulting medical expenses can run into thousands of dollars, so there can be no doubt that health insurance is a necessity in this modern age.
Your employer may offer group insurance, which is most likely the least expensive option for you, and usually the premium is deducted from your pay check. But if you are responsible for your own insurance there are some important considerations in selecting your level of coverage. It is always a question of balance. Should you pay the higher premiums that would reduce financial impact in case of illness, or absorb the higher risk by keeping your monthly outgoings low?
Levels of coverage vary greatly, and good coverage can be quite expensive. As with most commodities, you tend to get what you pay for. So it is very important to shop around for a level of coverage that suits you, at a price you can afford.
What are the main things you need to consider? There are two principle factors to examine initially. First is the premium, which is the amount paid out regularly for the insurance, and the second is the deductible, which is usually a fixed amount that you will have to pay in the event of a claim, before the insurance pays out the balance owed to your provider.
For example, your health insurance premium could be $350 per month for family coverage, and your deductible $250 per person. This means if someone slips and fractures an elbow, requiring a trip to the emergency room, you would be required to pay the first $250 of the bill.
You can keep monthly premiums low by purchasing very basic catastrophic coverage, which would carry a very high deductible, impacting your savings as opposed to your salary. Or you can opt to pay the higher premium to get comprehensive coverage which would have a lower deductible. In choosing your level of coverage, you should take into consideration how your personal finances are structured, as well as your age, general health, and the type of activities you and your family engage in. If in doubt, always seek advice.