Getting Health Insurance

What Should I Ask When Seeking a Plan?

couple looking at computerYou now have more choices than ever when shopping for a health insurance plan. Whether you purchase directly through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the Health Insurance Marketplace or a licensed insurance agent, you can compare and shop for a policy that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Open Enrollment for 2019 health insurance begins on Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15. During this time, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to apply for a new Marketplace plan, keep your current plan or pick a new one. Of course, as with any big purchase, like a car or a TV, there are a few things you should do to prepare for buying health insurance.  As your search for coverage begins, ask yourself:

What provider network does the plan use?

  • Is your current doctor in the plan’s network, and is this important to you?
  • Have you checked to see if your doctors, specialists, hospitals or urgent care centers are in the plan’s network that you selected? You can use the BCBSIL Provider Finder to check.

How often do you visit the doctor?

  • Do you only get sick two or three times during the year?
  • Do you have a health condition that results in frequent visits to the doctor or hospital?
  • Are you thinking about having a child?

Do you take prescription drugs?

How much can you spend?

  • The million dollar question! “How much is health insurance?” Every plan is different, so before shopping, figure out your budget. How much will you be able to spend every month? Think about the monthly premium, but also keep in mind the deductible, copayments and other out-of-pocket costs to figure out what you could end up paying within a year, should you end up with unexpected medical bills. If you think you may be able to get financial assistance, use our subsidy calculator to check.

Do you need dental coverage?

  • Some plans include dental coverage or you can buy a separate dental plan

What do the plans look like?

  • In the Marketplace, you can find plans in four levels — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Now you know what to ask yourself, so do you have any questions for us? If you're ready, start shopping now or, if you have questions call us at 1-877-731-4649 or log in and ask below!

Last update: 10/19/2018

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