Purchasing a catastrophic health insurance plan can be challenging, but following these six steps can make it an easy and rewarding experience.
Determine how much risk you/your family can afford to take on. What is the highest deductible you could take on, and still be OK in the event of an unexpected, major medical event?
Determine your eligibility. Review you or your family's health history. Think about everybody's health history, current conditions, and prescriptions. Is there anything serious that came up? Talk to a local agent about how this might affect your eligibility.
Get quotes. Search for "Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans" on Google or your favorite search engine. Many sites have instant online quoting services that can give you quotes right away.
Compare benefits. Download the benefit sheets (usually in the company's brochure) or ask a local agent for the brochures for multiple plans. Look over the benefits in detail and compare the coverage to your current plan. A local agent should be more than willing to help you through this process.
Pay particular attention to certain benefit details, such as:
- Is the deductible per person, or for the whole family? If it's per person, how many people must meet their deductible before the benefits kick in?
- Is the plan tax advantaged? Can you use a health savings account with the health plan to pay for medical expenses pre-tax?
- What are the lifetime maximum and annual maximum benefits for the plan?
- Does the plan cover accidents before the deductible?
- Does the plan cover preventive care before the deductible?
- What percentage does the plan pay after you reach your deductible? If the answer isn't 100 percent, then what is the most you could potentially spend in a year with this company? What is your "stop loss."
Send in an application and go through the underwriting process. A local agent can get you an application, or you can download one from the insurance company's website. The company will either approve, deny, or offer you a counter offer (the plan with modifications, or a higher monthly premium). The decision is primarily based on your health history.