user search icon     shopping cart icon 0   email icon       email icon

dimensions of health insurance including coverage, cost, options, prescriptions, lifestyle behaviors, health

Evaluating Your Health Insurance Plan: What to Look For

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   09/16/23

The United States is one of the most expensive countries in the world regarding healthcare costs. In 2021, healthcare spending reached $4.3 trillion. That's the same as $12,900 per person every year. The health insurance plan you pick is vital for cutting costs and providing ample coverage for your various medical needs. However, you need to make sure you're paying for the best one available.

Here are a few steps to follow when choosing health insurance and comparing your options.

Identifying Your Needs

The first step to finding health insurance coverage is identifying your current needs. What type of coverage will you require for the next year or so? Is it worth paying more for better coverage in case of emergencies?

At the bare minimum, you want to purchase insurance that works with your primary care physician and covers the costs of your current medications. You should only change insurance plans if you get a better deal for at least the same level of coverage.

You should also look into sufficient supplemental insurance that covers dental and vision insurance. Even if you don't need something like a root canal or a crown soon, having relevant insurance could save you hundreds of dollars.

Comparing Plans

One of the biggest struggles when it comes to evaluating your insurance plan is comparing it with others either within your provider or outside of it. You may find something more affordable with equivalent coverage. Alternatively, upgrading to a more expensive plan could save money on your healthcare expenses later.

There's also the debate between HMO and PPO plans. Both offer access to a network of doctors but have their limitations.

An HMO offers low or no deductibles and lower premiums. Although they're more affordable, they require a referral for specialists and do not cover medical expenses outside of your plan's network.

A PPO offers much more freedom but has higher premiums. You may also get coverage outside of your plan's network.

Evaluating Coverage

Some important information to understand when you look into your insurance coverage is what all the various numbers mean. You have deductibles, coinsurance, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums that all determine what kind of coverage you receive and how the insurance functions.

A deductible is the amount of money you must pay before your policy starts providing coverage. In many cases, plans with higher deductibles cost less monthly but only help your payments once you've covered a certain amount yourself.

Your coinsurance cost is the amount you pay after insurance covers its portion. It may be 20%, while insurance pays 80%.

A copay is a preset amount you pay for prescriptions or doctor visits.

Your out-of-pocket maximum is the most you must pay for your covered services annually. Your deductibles, copay, and coinsurance all go towards this number. Once it's maxed out, you won't have to pay for any other benefits.

A lower copay or coinsurance saves you money, but a higher one means you may meet your out-of-pocket maximum sooner.

Analyzing Costs

Look at the various costs associated with your insurance plan. Based on your premium and copay/coinsurance, are you saving as much money as you think?

In some cases, insurance companies will charge you low premiums in exchange for high coinsurance rates. This is fine if you never visit the hospital, but it can cause huge costs if you have frequent medical appointments.

Conversely, higher premiums may be worth it if you have much smaller copays or coinsurance. You'll pay less for your visits and medications that way.

Considering Specialty Care

You may want to explore plans that offer specialty care, such as mental health, dental, and vision.

At the very least, most health insurance plans cover mental health services. This includes visits to a therapist or psychiatrist and medication like antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills.

Unfortunately, these plans only sometimes cover dental or vision. You'll need to look for supplemental plans offered by the same provider or another company. You can get included coverage if your doctor refers you to a specialist for a mouth or eye disease, but it depends on the insurance.

It's also worth looking into coverage for alternative medicines, such as chiropractic therapy. Your insurance company may cover them if your PCP refers you to one.

Making Your Decision

Once you've analyzed your current plan and other policies, you'll need to decide which is best for your specific needs. Does your plan provide sufficient coverage for your routine medical visits and medications? Would you save money by switching to another plan, and is it worth the trouble?

It may help to keep a checklist of the most important factors, such as whether or not your medication is covered. You can also call the insurance company to speak to a representative if you have any questions about their coverage.

Finally, remember that open enrollment is the best time to change your insurance plan. That's between November 1 and December 15. Some plans will let you upgrade or change them mid-year, but those are for special circumstances.

Find the Best Health Insurance Plan

Comparing health insurance plans is always a challenging task. There are many variables to look out for, but it's worth it if you want to save money and get better coverage. Your health insurance plan is your lifeline in this country, where medical bills can run notably high.

To improve your health and well-being, check out SupplementRelief.com. Our professional-grade supplements can help you live a healthier life. Contact us to learn more and check out our online stock.


headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

  • product discussion forum icon Discussion Forum
    Questions or Feedback?

    Ask questions. Share your thoughts.  Note that we cannot answer questions relating to specific medical conditions - please refer those to your qualified healthcare provider.

    Post a new Comment or Reply to an existing one. Help for using the Discussion Forum.

    Post Comment

    help icon Discussion Forum Help

    Comments are displayed in order of the last one posted so the most recent one is at the top and the oldest one at the bottom.

    Replies within a Comment are displayed in reverse order with the oldest one at the top and the most recent one at the bottom.

    Each post identifies comment posted by icon who made the post and the comment timestamp icon date and time the post was made.

    Mouse over the icons for tooltips that explain what they mean.

    audio file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Audio file to your post.


    document file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Document file to your post.


    image file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach an Image file to your post.


    video file icon 

    If you see this icon you can attach a Video file to your post.

    You will see the ban post icon Ban icon (Report Post as SPAM) immediately following the Timestamp of the post. Click this icon if you feel strongly that the content posted is not appropriate and should be reviewed by the Forum Moderator. You will be provided with a confirmation dialog to be sure you wish to submit this post for review. If submitted, the Forum Moderator will be notified to review the post and will determine what type of action to take.

    Click exit icon in the upper right corner of this Help modal or anywhere on the web page outside of the modal to exit Help.

warning icon Session Expired from Inactivity


Do you want to?

You may also close your browser window/tab now to exit the website.

Session Arrays & Values

Are you sure you want to remove this item?

Order Policy

Please email if you have questions or need assistance.

Payment Processing

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards.

Payments are securely processed through industry leader Authorize.net of which SupplementRelief.com is a Verified Merchant.

We DO NOT retain or store your credit card information after the purchase. We DO NOT share your information with anyone. We DO NOT auto-subscribe you to anything. Your information is YOURS.

The charge will appear on your credit card statement as SupplementRelief.com with our phone number (888) 424-0032.

Shipping & Handling

A safe and accurate address for delivery must be provided at the time the order is placed. Once an order has shipped, SupplementRelief.com is NOT responsible for lost or stolen packages CONFIRMED BY THE CARRIER to be delivered to the address provided for the order.

Since COVID-19, and the ensuing economic challenges in the USA economy, we respectfully ask that you allow some additional time for delivery for the carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx). Most orders still arrive on time, or near on time, but some may run late. We make every effort to get your order packed and into the carriers hands the same day, or by the next business morning if your order came in later in the previous day after carrier pickup, but we have no control over any delays that may happen within the shipping carrier's delivery system. Please order earlier for the time being if you are time-sensitive.

Orders that contain only FirstFitness Nutrition products have a shipping fee automatically calculated based upon the actual shipping weight of the items purchased. The charge ranges from $4.95 to $14.95.

For orders with NuMedica products you may choose from the shipping options below on the Order Checkout form in the Shipping Information section on the first line that says Choose Shipping Method.

Shipping Options

Country Option Schedule Cost
United States Standard 3-6 Days $4.95
United States Priority 2-4 Days $9.95
United States Free 7-10 Days $0.00
International FedEx International 4-7 Days $79.95*
International GlobalPost International 12-21 Days $39.95*
*International shipping costs may be higher depending upon package weight and destination. We will contact you for your approval of the additional amount if this occurs.

SupplementRelief.com may use the email or phone number provided on your Order to call or text you regarding Order Status or to inform you of changes to the Order Policy.

When your order ships we will send you a confirmation email with the delivery tracking information.

International Shipping

Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.

FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.

We also offer a lower-cost international shipping option using GlobalPost International for $39.95. So far, they have been reliable in getting packages correctly delivered but it takes 2 - 4 times as long to get the package delivered. Packages may take longer to process in the receiving country's customs process and status updates may not be reported as quickly. Please be patient if you choose this option to save money.

Some International orders may cost more to ship depending upon weight and location. If that happens we will contact you first and get your approval for any additional charge before proceeding. International orders may also be subject to additional customs fees and duties/taxes based upon the destination country's customs import laws and policies. These fees are NOT known or included on our order form and are typically charged and collected by the shipping carrier when they are delivering the product to it's final destination once the package has cleared the destination country's customs process. It is recommended that the buyer research custom import fees for the products/services they are importing beforehand to be aware of potential, additional fees.

Shipping Refrigerated Products

Our manufacturers formulate their probiotics to ensure their products retain viability until they reach the consumer. Probiotics that are recommended to be refrigerated remain so until the time of shipment, then shipped alongside an ice pack to ensure potency (Note: Ice pack will not arrive frozen, and product may not arrive cold). Orders placed on a Thursday-Sunday requiring cold shipping will not ship until the following Monday.

Cancellations

If your order has not been shipped yet, you can request a cancellation. Your original purchase amount will be refunded within three business days. If your order has already shipped, see Returns and Refunds.

Changes, Returns and Refunds

If you want to make a change to your order, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the change before your order ships. If your order has already shipped you may incur additional shipping charges for the second shipment and the return label for any products returned.

If we have made a mistake on your order, or the product arrives in a damaged or unusable condition, we will make every reasonable effort to right the situation quickly to your satisfaction. Problems of this nature must be reported to us within 5 business days of the package delivery date documented by the carrier status.

We accept returns subject to when the return is requested and the condition the product is returned in. All returns must first be authorized by contacting us. In your request, please let us know why you are returning the item(s). We will respond promptly with authorization, the return address, and a return shipping label if appropriate.

If your order has already shipped you can return any un-opened products within 30 days of receiving your order for a 100% refund of the price paid for the product, less the actual shipping charges we incurred to get the product to you originally and then returned, less a $10 restocking fee. Un-opened means the protective seal on the bottle or container, or the shrink-wrap on the box or kit, has not been broken and the product has not otherwise been damaged in any way. You may use the original packaging for the return or acquire your own. We will provide the return shipping label. We DO NOT accept returns for NuMedica products once the protective product seal has been broken.

Upon receipt of returned product(s), we will refund your credit card within three business days for the product(s) returned.