For Consumers

What to consider before buying health insurance

Before you start shopping for health insurance, know what kind of coverage you need. Look carefully at what the plan covers and what it doesn't cover (exclusions or limitations), compare benefits and compare health insurance plans (PDF, 90.33 KB). You can also get answers to common questions when comparing health plans.

Figure out how much you can afford

  • Ask about the premiums, copayments, deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limit.
  • Find out about the dollar limits on how much you'll pay for health care services you receive (out-of-pocket maximums).
  • Look carefully at policies with bargain-priced premiums - they might turn out to be too limited to be useful for you.
  • Understand how the claims process works, how your providers get paid and what portion you have to pay.
  • Ask if your providers are in the insurance company's network.
  • Ask if your medications are covered and their costs.

Here are some options you and your family may qualify for if you can't afford health coverage.

Remember, not all health insurance is the same!