If you use complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture, look for a plan that covers them.
Coverage for prescription drugs, mental health care, and other services that may be important to you will vary from plan to plan.
Which plans are best for your budget? Add up your health care expenses from the last few years to help you predict your costs for the coming year. You should also consider any new health care needs that have been identified for the upcoming year. Which of the health plans most closely match your estimate? Consider things like:
- Monthly premiums
- Copays and other expenses that aren't covered by insurance
Does your employer or plan offer wellness incentives programs? These programs reward you for losing weight, quitting smoking, and other efforts to better your health and prevent disease. You may earn money to spend on health care costs or you may pay less for your health plan.
Do you want an HSA or FSA? HSA stands for "health savings account." It lets people who have high-deductible plans set aside as much as $3,300 to spend on qualified health costs. The money you set aside is taken out of your paycheck before taxes, so you don't have to pay tax on it. Each household can set aside up to $6,550.
You can add another $1,000 per year into your HSA if you are over 55. If you haven't spent all the money by the end of the year, it stays in the account and earns interest. You also can keep the account if you change jobs or quit.
FSA stands for “flexible spending account." An FSA, which is managed by your employer, allows you to set aside up to $2,500 of your pre-tax salary to pay for medical expenses not covered by your health plan.
Remember, you must spend the money in your FSA by the end of year or you lose it. So think about your medical expenses during the coming year and only put in as much as you think you'll need.