Shopping for health insurance can be difficult as there are so many health insurance providers touting their services. If you have questions specifically about mental health or addiction services, things can become even more confusing. If you’re seeking coverage for mental health and addiction issues but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. This article discusses why insurance is important and suggests 7 tips you can use to find an insurance plan that fits your mental health needs.
Why You Need Mental Health Insurance
It is generally understood that people need health insurance. Health insurance offers you protection from unexpected, high medical bills. People who require ongoing health care can reap the financial benefits of health insurance on a day to day basis. Health insurance also protects healthy individuals who get sick suddenly or are involved in a car or work-related accident.
If you are employed, your employer will likely offer health insurance benefits to you as part of your compensation package. If you are self-employed or unemployed, it is up to you to find a plan that is suitable your personal circumstances. It is strongly recommended that you compare the premiums, deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket limits offered by different providers. If you live in Canada and need more information on the top insurance companies, you can learn more here,
While most adults actively think about insurance for physical health conditions, far fewer consider the benefits of insurance for mental health issues. However, mental health issues may persist long after physical injuries have healed. Chronic mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder can drastically limit your ability to work and provide for yourself and your family. However, disability insurance coverage for mental illness can ensure you have the money you need.
In Canada, every citizen has healthcare coverage that is funded by the Canadian government. However, it does not coverage services provided by mental health professionals. This means Canadian citizens may have to purchase additional healthcare plans. In the United States, healthcare coverage is not funded by the government, however many businesses offer plans to their employees that provide coverage for physical and mental health issues.
Different insurance plans may offer different benefits. Some provide more coverage and some are more expensive than others. Some insurance plans are only available in a particular location. But regardless of where you live, it is important to consider these 7 tips when you are looking to purchase health insurance for yourself or a loved one:
1. Shop Around For The Best Deals
Getting health insurance is critical but it can also be expensive. It may be best to spend some time shopping around to find the best health insurance plan for you. Some of the best insurance companies in Canada include Manulife, GMS, Blue Cross Canada, Greatwest Life, and Sun Life Financial. The public health insurance programs in the United States include Medicaid, Medicare, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A few of the more popular insurance brands are Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Kaiser, and United. By comparing different options, you will ensure that you get the best price and the coverage you need.
2. Learn About The Coverage Area
The health insurance coverage area is the geographic area where a person can use their health insurance. The coverage area is set by the insurance company and can vary depending on which company you are purchasing your health plan from. Insurance companies will often have different coverage areas, so it is essential to compare plans to see if they cover all of the areas you need them to.
3. Check How Many Providers Are In The Network
A health insurance network consists of a group of healthcare providers, typically physicians, therapists, and hospitals who have agreed to provide medical or mental health care for a specific type of illness, condition, or injury. A network may be large or small, local or national. It may be best to look for insurers with an extensive network covering a wide range of physical and mental health issues.
4. Know Where To Purchase Your Insurance
People who have never purchased health insurance before may believe they can get health insurance at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. However, this is not the case. If you want to buy health insurance you must do so at a health insurance marketplace (also called a health exchange). Health insurance marketplaces are legal organizations that are available in each state. ACA health exchanges offer insurance plans that comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. There are also private non-ACA health exchanges that serve millions of American citizens.
5. Choose The Right Plan For Your Needs
Health insurance plans are usually categorized as managed care plans or indemnity plans. A managed care health plan limits your choice of doctor and hospital and often requires you to use providers within its network. An indemnity health plan does not restrict your choice of doctor or hospital, but it may need you to pay more out-of-pocket costs for services. The most common health insurance plans include:
- Health maintenance organization (HMO): A HMO provides health care services and pays for them for its members.
- Preferred provider organization (PPO): Preferred provider organizations offer the benefits of managed care plans while providing the freedom to choose any doctor or hospital as long as it is in-network.
- Exclusive provider organization (EPO): Providers under an EPO agree to offer members discounted rates and other benefits to join the organization.
- Point of Service (POS): This is a mixture between an HMO and a PPO offering a range of the best of both worlds. However, this comes at a higher cost.
6. Match Your Preferences With The List Of In-Network Providers
An in-network provider is a health care provider that the insurance company has agreed to reimburse for services. If you have a preferred psychiatrist or psychologist, you should inquire if he or she accepts a particular health insurance plan. This may help you to choose a specific insurance plan if you are undecided.
7. Take Note Of Customer Service
When choosing between several health insurance providers, it is a good idea to assess each company’s website and customer service department. Ensure that the company you choose offers excellent customer service before enrolling in a health insurance plan. If the customer service is less than what you expect, it may not be reliable if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. It is strongly recommended that you check online reviews to see how each insurance company tends to treat its clients.