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Top 5 Questions to Ask When Shopping for Health Insurance

What benefits are provided?
If you wear glasses, make sure your plan includes some vision benefits.
If you wear glasses, make sure your plan includes some vision benefits.
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When it comes to health insurance, you tend to get what you pay for. Expensive health insurance plans come with lots of benefits that are fully covered, whereas budget plans offer only select services that may require out-of-pocket costs if you actually use them. Before picking the cheapest plan, you'll want to make sure that it includes the benefits that you need.

Consider what services you need when you and the members of your family are well; such a list might include an annual physical, a Pap smear, a well-baby visit, allergy shots and a handful of prescription drugs. Obviously, you'll want a plan that will help you pay for such basics, but you'll need to take into account the unexpected. Check how a given plan would cover emergency room visits, ambulances, medical testing, hospitalization and surgery. Will you be left in the cold if a medical crisis occurs? You'll also want to check how often you can use a given benefit. Are you limited to a handful of mental health or physical therapy appointments, and if so, will that be enough?

If you're on a budget, you'll have to prioritize the benefits you'll use and the ones you may need. But even if you're considering a plan with all the bells and whistles, don't forget to ask the next question on our list.

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