Health insurance may be one of the most critical annual purchases since it impacts your employees’ physical, mental, and financial wellness. Unfortunately, choosing a health plan can feel overwhelming. With so many options, it can be easy to make a mistake when selecting coverage.

Here are four common missteps related to selecting a health plan and how to avoid them. This information will help employees choose the best plan coverage for their situation.

Rushing Through Enrollment Options

Many people rush when buying their health insurance or only rely on recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Others may simply reenroll with last year’s choices. But health insurance provides personal coverage, so it’s important to research and find what will work best for your health needs and budget.

When it comes time to enroll in a plan, compare different policies and understand their coverages and associated costs (e.g., premiums). One of the best ways to ensure the policy is right for your health needs is to consider your medical requirements and spending in the next year. Don’t forget to confirm in-network coverage to ensure your preferred doctor, clinic and pharmacy are connected in the new plan. Then, you can find the most suitable plan and coverage in an effort to simplify your health care and make it more affordable.

Misunderstanding Medical Costs

A cost-sharing charge is an amount you must pay for a medical item or service covered by the health insurance plan. Most plans have come combination of deductible, copays, and coinsurance. Here’s what those terms mean:

  • The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your health insurance starts to cover costs.
  • A copay is a flat fee you pay upfront for doctor visits, prescriptions and other health care services.
  • Coinsurance is the percentage you pay for covered health services after you’ve met your deductible.

When shopping for a plan, keep in mind that the deductible is tied to the premium. As such, a low deductible plan may seem attractive, but understand that it generally comes with a higher premium—and vice versa. When choosing a health plan, look closely to see when you’ll have a copay, when your deductible applies, and how much it will cost for various services.

Ignoring Supplemental Options

Supplemental insurance options are often included separately and require an additional premium, which means many people don’t even take the time to look at them. A standard health insurance plan may not cover certain situations, so reviewing all available options is essential. Supplemental insurance such as critical illness, hospital indemnity, or accident insurance can help bolster your overall health insurance coverage by offering extra protection. Be sure to review the supplemental offered with your health insurance and see if any would be helpful for you, your family or plans in the next year.

Selecting Insufficient Coverage

People may hold back on purchasing certain coverage to pay a lower premium. While that may seem advantageous in the short term, you’ll be on the hook for out-of-pocket costs when facing a medical emergency. This mistake may be accompanied by physical, mental, and financial health consequences. When selecting a plan, be realistic about your potential medical needs and our overall budget. Check to ensure that the plan you select provides adequate coverage for your medical needs and other essentials. The right health insurance can help you take care of yourself (and your family) and ensure financial security.

Health insurance is an essential investment for you and your family. By avoiding common mistakes while choosing a health plan, you’ll be better informed as you select your coverage. As health care costs continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to carefully review available policies, consider your options and health needs, and, ultimately, select the best plan to protect your health and finances.