Having the tools to best estimate how much your healthcare will cost is essential to planning and making the most informed decisions possible. In combination with doing your research, you may also want to speak with your doctor or doctors to also best estimate how much your care will cost.
Some things to consider when estimating your total care costs are:
- Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Deductibles are how much you need to pay before your insurance covers any part of your medical expenses. Out-of-pocket costs can come in the form of out-of-pocket maximums and copayments. Out-of-pocket maximums refer to the maximum amount of money you pay for your health insurance. After you reach your maximum, your insurance will cover the rest. Copayments are issued when you pay out of pocket every time you get care. Understanding what policies your health insurance has for all of these options is very important for estimating how much you will end up paying.
- Take stock of how much care you might need. Evaluating how much care or what kind of care you or your dependents might need is very useful for choosing a medical plan.
- Metal categories. Typically insurance companies categorize different levels of insurance into metal categories like bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Usually, gold and platinum will have higher premiums, while bronze and silver have lower premiums. You will want to choose your plan depending on your use of medical services and whether you have regular prescriptions.