Getting your hands on the best Colorado health insurance you can afford may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be when you know what you’re doing. Read on for some tips to help you find the best Colorado health insurance plan for your budget.
Know your options
To obtain a plan, you can either buy individual health insurance or you can get group health insurance through your employer. There are several kinds of plans to choose from. Here is a brief primer.
- FFS (Fee-for-Service) – A fee-for-service plan will pay a specific amount for each service rendered by your health care provider. There are limits, called “allowable amounts”, that the plan can pay. You should clarify these limits and other details with your insurance company. FFS plans are not very popular in Colorado because, in general, we have good access to PPO and HMO networks. As such, you can usually get a better value by opting for a PPO or HMO plan.
- HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) – In this plan type, you are limited to the health care providers within the HMO network and often times are assigned to a primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP helps to “manage your healthcare”.
- PPO (Preferred-Provider Organization) – This plan resembles that of an HMO, except that you may use providers outside of the network, although at lesser rates and benefits than any of the preferred providers. In addition, with a PPO you generally have the flexibility to see any specialist without first having to get a referral from your PCP.
- HSA (Health Savings Account) – A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax advantaged savings account that allows you to set aside money for health care. This savings account is paired with a high deductible health insurance plan – the result being affordable yet comprehensive health coverage.
Study and compare plans
Given that you have a wide variety of plans to select from, don’t just get what your neighbor, co-worker, or best friend got. Each person has different needs and your insurance should be capable of meeting those needs when the time comes. Ideally, you should base your choice on these criteria:
- the quality of the medical care you will receive
- the coverage of your plan
- how much your premiums will cost
Consider all these factors and weigh the cost with the benefits. Don’t shortchange yourself by getting affordable health insurance but with mediocre coverage – when the worst happens, you’ll be the one left holding the bag.