Feature Archive

Ten Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Health Plan

Here's a list of ten questions you should ask before picking a health care plan.

WebMD Feature

Many people face the confusing proposition of choosing health insurance. To help wade through the piles of paperwork, here's a list of ten questions you should ask before picking a health care plan:

1: What Type of Plan Is It?

Find out if it is an indemnity health plan or a managed care system. With indemnity health plans, also known as fee-for-service plans, you pay a percentage of the medical costs, and the insurance company pays the remaining percentage. Typically, you are allowed to choose your own doctors.

With managed care -- meaning either a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a preferred provider organization (PPO) -- you have minimal out-of-pocket expenses. With an HMO, you or your employer pays a fixed monthly fee for health-care services, but you can only go to a doctor who is under contract with the HMO. Through a PPO, you or your employer gets a discount if you use physicians within the plan. You may go to a doctor outside the PPO system, but you'll pay more.

2: How Much Will I Have to Pay for Medical Care?

Find out the amount of the premium. Next, ask whether you will be charged a co-payment, a small flat fee, perhaps $10, charged for health care services.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors