By Jean Chariton

The affordable care act promises to expand access to healthcare. However, it can be daunting to find a policy that meets your health care budget along with your family’s requirements for care. One of the good things about the ACA website through covered California is you can look at a plan’s potential total cost. This would include the monthly premiums, deductible, copayments, the flat dollar amounts, and coinsurance, or what others may refer to as cost-sharing.

Not only do we use covered California’s website, but we also have our own quoting system that will show you side-by-side percentages and differences for individual and family plans. The next couple of weeks include a special enrollment period (SEP) for those people who have not enrolled in a health insurance plan. If you are just now realizing that you have tax consequences, then it is the time to take a look at what’s available and affordable for you and your dependents.

We always tell our clients, to protect themselves against medical costs, they should look at the worst-case scenario. If they have chosen to go with PPO, which is a preferred provider organizing ocean, they should always try to stay in network. This avoids any out of network charges that are in excess of their out-of-pocket.

Another type of plan is an HMO. These are referred to as health management organizations and have a network of primary care doctors and specialists. They are the gate-keepers for in network care. These types of plans can work very well and are generally more economical.

If you spend a little time with a knowledgeable, licensed health insurance agent, your odds of making the right choice increase and you may save thousands of dollars and get the care you need.