What to consider when choosing a health insurance plan

There are many things to consider when choosing a plan. Ask yourself the following questions. Then take a quiz to see which Blue Cross plans fit you best.

Do I need long or short-term insurance coverage?

If you're:

•  Between jobs or waiting for a longer-term plan to take effect (say, you're going to be eligible for your employer's health plan in a month or two)? Consider a short-term plan. But note that short-term plans don't cover preexisting conditions. 

•  If you’re self-employed or you don't have health insurance at work, you may need a longer-term individual or family. 

Do I want basic or more comprehensive coverage?

Plans with basic coverage protects your finances in case of illness or injury. Features: 

•  Lower monthly rates

•  You’ll pay a larger portion of your health care costs each year.

Comprehensive plans that may cover more, including chemical dependency or behavioral health care, maternity, prescriptions, vision and eye care, and regular doctor office visits. Features:

•  More affordable if you tend to use more health care services regularly.

•  Usually, a higher monthly rate.

Is my doctor or hospital covered by the plan?

Your plan’s directory of doctors and hospitals will tell you whether your doctors and hospitals are in the plan's network. You get more benefits if you use doctors who are in the plan’s network.

Does the plan’s network need a referral?

With some health insurance plans, you need a referral from a primary care doctor to see a specialist. With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota plans, you don’t need a referral to see a network specialist.

Does the health plan cover me while traveling?

Some plans have provider networks based on where you live. If you travel outside that area, you are not covered by your health plan. Blue Cross plans give you access to the BlueCard® and BlueCard Worldwide® networks, so you’re covered almost anywhere in the U.S. or the world.

Does the plan work with a health savings account?

Some plans do work with health savings accounts that you can use to pay for care and save money. See more benefits of a plan with a health savings account.

Are prescription drugs covered?

Prescription drug coverage varies by plan. For example, some Blue Cross plans give you choices.  Some have a copay, depending on the type of drug and the plan pays the rest. On other plans, you must first meet your deductible before anything is paid. Most plans have a list of drugs that the plan covers.

Does the plan help me make decisions about my health?

•  Does the plan offer tools and resources to help you stay healthy – like health club and Weight Watchers® discounts so you can keep medical costs down?

•  Does it offer services like a 24 hour nurse line you can call for advice when you have a health event after hours?

•  Does it offer tools to help you compare costs and quality of doctors and hospitals, so you can get the best value?

Blue Cross plans give you all this and more to help you and your family be healthier and control medical costs and support you 24/7.

What is the company’s reputation?

It's worth looking into. 

•  How long have they been in business?

•  Have independent agencies rated their financial strength?

•  What's their reputation for customer service?

•  Are they known for quick and hassle-free claims payments?

Consider your options carefully

You are choosing a health plan company for an important part of your life. So you'll want a company that's dependable, will be there whenever you need support, and that gives you plenty of solid plan options to fit your needs and budget. 

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