1.Are the cheaper options really worth it?
Cheaper options may or may not be worth it, but they're worth investigating. Multiple employers are responding to the overwhelming need to reduce health care costs by introducing plans that shift financial responsibility to their employees, so understanding why these plans are cheap is critical. There is more and more responsibility on the employee to plan, shop, and ultimately decide on where their health care dollar is spent.
2.Will I and my family be able to receive care from my physicians and hospitals?
Physicians, and hospitals, are going to new networks and new health plan products, which has major implications for cost and access. In fact, each year, about 20 percent of doctors move or change networks.
3.How does health plan selection relate to my overall financial plan?
Health plan selection is a critical part of one's overall financial plan and should be a part of any rainy day fund. Unfortunately, health care expenses cause financial stress in a large number of U.S. families. A recent Harvard University study showed that medical expenses account for approximately 62% of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. Interestingly, the study also showed that 72% of these bankruptcies had some type of health insurance, so it's not necessarily a lack of health insurance – it’s not understanding the implications associated with the selected health insurance option.