October 26, 2010

Be Smart About Your Health: Benefits Planning Made Simple

For many people choosing insurance coverage is a difficult process because it can be confusing. According to a survey more than half of the participants said it is easier to read Shakespeare than their health insurance policy. That same survey showed "almost 70 percent of Americans say they’re paying more attention to what health benefits options are available because of the new health reform law."

According to news on television insurance costs are rising, and more of that cost is being passed on to the employee. With rising costs we all need to make decisions about what coverage is the most important. For people who are self employed and purchase their insurance themselves, the questions are similar. Open enrollment is frequently in the fall, when employees choose their health plans for the following year. That is when you can make changes to your health benefits plan.

For example, I am not covered on an employer plan currently. When I got my current insurance one of the most important things to me was cost. I mainly wanted insurance to protect me and my family in case of something serious. People can easily get a hospital bill of $10-$20,000. I can get most prescriptions as generic, so I decided to get a high deductible insurance plan with cheaper monthly payments.

Aetna has a website called Be Smart About Your Health that can help with making insurance decisions. To help you can do the following things:

1. Prioritize
Decide what benefits are most important to you. For example, do you have a family doctor that you already see and like? Then it would likely be important that he or she participates in the plan you pick. Do you take many medications? Are they expensive? Your Health Benefits Priorities can help you with your decisions.

2. Calculate
You need to calculate your medical costs and insurance premium costs. Can you afford it? Would a Health Savings Account (HSA) be a good idea?

3. Predict
What screening tests will you need next year? Is it time for a colonoscopy? Do you plan to get pregnant? Do you have a chronic disease? Do the kids need braces?

4. Compare
Compare the insurance plan benefits to make the best decision. Sites like sites like www.GoHealthInsurance.com can help you compare plans.

5. Just do it!
It really isn't that hard once you get started. You do things like brush your teeth and try to eat healthy foods. This is another way to take care of your health.

I hope these tips have helped in your health insurance decision making. Go to Be Smart About Your Health that can help with making insurance decisions.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Aetna blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 Target gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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