5 Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan #TimeWellSpent

This post may contain affiliate links. This means, if you make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a very small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

5 tips for choosing the right health insurance plan

I remember the first time I had to actively select my own insurance plan.  I was 25 (not terribly young) and I was recently no longer eligible for coverage under my University’s health plan.  I pulled out our phone book — remember those big yellow things? — and looked up the nearest agent to me.

As I sat at the desk looking at the most economical insurance plans I quickly realized something.  I had no idea what I was doing! LOL

I was completely lost.  Not wanting to be stuck with huge unforseen medical bills, I hit the books and did some research.

Choosing the right health insurance plan can seem like an insurmountable obstacle to your future good health and financial soundness.  But it is not as daunting as it might first appear. And, difficult thought it may first seem, doing your research and finding the right plan for you is of utmost importance to you and your financial well being.

I took all the brochures the agent gave me back home and studied them carefully.  I wrote out the benefits of each and compared them.  Living on just $1500 a month we didn’t have much money to put towards premiums.  However, if one of us we to have an accident or serious health issue, we would be even less capable of paying the medical bills.  We couldn’t afford to go without insurance, but many of the “economical” plans had super high deductibles.

In my search for the right insurance plan for me I learned several things.  Here are a few tips I learned along with some others I’ve picked up since.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan this Open Enrollment Season:

  1. Review your current plan! This may sound obvious, but the Aflac WorkForces Report found that 51% of employees prefer NOT to have more control over their health care expenses because they don’t have the time or knowledge to effectively manage them. And the 2014 Aflac Open Enrollment Survey found that 41% of employees spent 15 minutes or less researching their benefit options during the 2013 open enrollment season; and 24% spent five minutes or less! Not reviewing your benefits could lead to thousands of dollars of unnecessary health care costs. Obviously, this ignorance is not bliss. Reviewing health benefits can be a challenge, there is a lot of jargon the average person may not understand.  That’s where “the Google” comes in handy.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask family or a trusted and knowledgeable friend to sit down with you and help you out.
  2. Review your options for this year: Set aside time (with your spouse, if you are married) to review the different plans you are eligible for.  Having reviewed your current plan (see tip 1) will help you get a feel for what benefits better fit your lifestyle and health needs. Understanding your past needs will help you prepare for your future needs. Be sure to review costs for spousal and dependent coverage.
  3. Understand the financial implications your choices have on your budget. In addition to monthly premiums, make sure you can afford the yearly deductible costs. If a high deductible looks like it may be a burden, choose a plan with a slightly higher monthly premium and a lower deductible that may be easier to manage.
  4. Seek out a licensed insurance broker: If you are having trouble sorting through all the plans, benefits, and which are best for you and your family, you may consider seeking out an insurance broker.  They can sit down with you and explain the various plans and help you decide which might be right for you.
  5. Consider Voluntary Insurance: With medical costs on the rise and increasing deductibles and copays, unexpected medical expenses can be disastrous.  Voluntary insurance can help provide employees with financial safety nets. Voluntary insurance pays cash benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage employees have in place, including policies available through government health care exchanges.

In the end I decided to go with an insurance plan that had most of the benefits I needed, but had a high deductible.  I purchased voluntary insurance through Aflac to help cover any unexpected medical costs.  It was one of the best financial decisions I ever made! Aflac helped me pay doctors’s copays and hospital bills I eventually incurred. 🙂

My first baby

I encourage you to read up on more interesting findings from Aflac WorkForces Report.

Aflac offers accident, dental, life, vision, cancer, hospital intensive care and more voluntary insurance policies. For nearly six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. This is a great post, especially for younger kids looking into insurance who have no clue where to start. Great tips!
  2. shelly peterson says
    Luckily I am not one looking for an insurance plan. But boy if I had to I would be lost. Thanks or sharing this great information.
  3. Being uninsured is frightening, especially if you have preexisting conditions. At one point when I was between jobs, we had to buy insurance on the open market (this was decades before the Affordable Health Care Law) and it was hundreds of dollars a month, with a deductible of something like $200,000. But it kept us insured until I could be covered under an employer's plan again. Things may be confusing now, but at least there are a lot more options available. Good luck finding insurance--it's worth it, believe me. Oh, and I love that beautiful picture of you and your newborn. You look so happy!
  4. Deciding which plan works best for you and your family can seem a bit overwhelming, but these are great tips. The more you shop around the better chance you have at finding the perfect plan. Thanks for the advice!
  5. You are so right that oftentimes people let the intricacies of their health plans slip away for lack of time or knowledge. however, if people would just be aware of what they have on their current plan, it would be more obvious which aspects they like and which ones might be more superfluous. That way, when you sit down to review what plans are available, it will be an educated decision.
  6. Wow, I'm shocked to learn that such a high percentage of people don't adequately learn about their healthcare plan options before enrolling! I am the kind of person who has to know every detail before making a decision. I like the point you make about using a licensed broker, though, because I always feel like I'm missing something and they would be able to help me avoid that. Thanks for some great tips!
  7. Hi Amy, Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!! A great read for beginners who are looking for insurance. I really like the way you described the points. According to my opinion choosing an insurance is quite a tough task and you can't take a risk because you are investing your hard earned money. Taking help from a licensed insurance broker will help you in many ways. He is the one who understands your requirements and suggests you the best plan for you and your family. Cheers Bakerigg
  8. I think it's a great idea to review your current plan and then see what your options are for this year! My wife and I have been working on finding the right health insurance for our little family, but we haven't thought to try that yet; we just started looking for the best options, right away. It's shocking that so many people don't want control over their health insurance! We are definitely not like that - we want to know what we are agreeing to and how it affects us.
  9. I'm so glad you suggested seeking out an insurance broker! I've been really struggling to try to figure out the insurance world on my own, and there is so much that goes into it that it's been really difficult for me to navigate on my own! I really think talking to an insurance broker about it would help me get it sorted out and decide on what is right for me.