3 tips for choosing your health insurance plan through work

Are you trying to choose a health insurance plan offered through your employer? Choosing a health plan for the year ahead is an important decision. And if it's open enrollment time at your company, it's your time to explore the available health plan options before you enroll. 

You can use this checklist and watch our open enrollment video series to help you weigh the options and decide which health plan may be best for you. Let's get started. 

1. Check to see which providers are in network

Finding a doctor or clinic that is in network may help keep costs lower. In fact, many plans will only cover network providers. When you're reviewing your health plan options, consider taking these steps:

  • Check to see if your primary doctor, provider or clinic is in network for the plan you are considering
  • Check to see if your mental health providers, dentists and specialty providers are in network 
  • Find out if there is partial coverage for out-of-network providers

Knowing which providers are in network may help you narrow your choices for health plans. For example, if you have a specific doctor you prefer to see, you'll likely want to be sure they're in network for the plan you choose. If you're considering a UnitedHealthcare plan, you can search for network providers and clinics using our provider search tool.

2. Consider your health care needs

From year to year, your coverage needs may change. Maybe you have different medication needs or a procedure planned for the upcoming year. Before you enroll in a plan, think about the care you or your family may need in the year ahead. Here are some factors to consider as you're making your decision. 

3. Decide how you prefer to manage your costs

You can make choices about how you pay for your care too. Check to see if the plan you're considering works with the way you like to manage your budget. Some people prefer to keep their monthly premium payments low. Others may choose to pay higher monthly premiums so they may pay less for copays when they need care. 

Lower premium plans

If you don’t have any major care needs, you can save money by finding a plan that charges a lower premium each month. This means the plan will take less money out of your paychecks to pay for insurance. Compare your plan options to see which plan’s premium amount requires you to pay the least.

Lower copay plans

Some plans may give you the option to spend less money when you pay for care services, like when you visit the doctor. Consider the cost of payments like copays when you visit a doctor, clinic or urgent care. You can also compare the deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limit for each plan. That way, you can see which plans may help you save more. Researching these costs and understanding how you and your plan share costs together also helps you avoid cost surprises later.