Individual health policies are for those who are responsible for their own health insurance expenses. My best recommendation is that you have a Health Insurance Broker licensed in your state assist you make the best decision. The coverage you should choose is determined by your particular needs and those of your family.
Examples of specific considerations:
If your family is young and growing, you will want to consider a policy that includes maternity care from the onset.
Some plans have prescription plans that only cover generic drugs while most do cover preferred brands. It is just good to know what you are going to get.
Check and see if your doctor is included. Typically PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans provide the most freedom of choice and greater flexibility as compare to HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
-Preventative Care Packages
If you can opt for a plan that includes a preventative plan without having to first meet a deductible. Preventative Care usually includes Annual Physical, OB/GYN Exams, Mammograms, PSA screening and well child care.
-Dental and Vision are pretty important but do not allow these to disproportionately affect your Major Medical plan decision. If need be get them separately and focus on a health plan that is solid and that meets your needs.
VALUE NOT PRICE
Be diligent, compare plans and comb through the outlines of coverage. My little rule is that the better insurance companies have simple and easy to understand plans as opposed to those that present you volumes of literature and very little coverage.
DC- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PLANS
Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield probably offers the most coverage for the best price in DC. The savings are pretty substantial.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA PLANS
Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield both serve Northern Virginia but their territories do not overlap. They both offer very comprehensive and competitively priced plans. Most Plans include a nice preventative package – Contact your broker to determine which side of the fence you are on. (HMO & PPO) Blue Cross Blue Shield boasts the biggest PPO network in the DC metro area.
Kaiser Permanente (HMO) offer very inclusive and competitive plans in this area too. This company’s plans almost always include maternity for no extra cost.
Golden Rule (United Healthcare) also offers Health Plans in some Northern VA zip codes. Great PPO and HSA plans offered.
Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield offers very comprehensive and competitively priced plans. The majority of the Plans include the important preventative package. (HMO & PPO) Blue Cross Blue Shield boasts the biggest PPO network in the DC metro area. Do Consider the Blue Preferred Plan.
Kaiser Permanente (HMO) offer very inclusive and competitive plans in this area too. This company’s plans almost always include maternity for no extra cost. This is indeed a popular company in this state.
Golden Rule (United Healthcare) also offers Health Plans in Maryland. These plans are very competitive and the Network is large. Great PPO and HSA plans offered.
-Blue Cross Blue Shield Families may realize substantial savings by submitting separate applications for each individual as opposed to a family application. The savings seem to be greatest for a two parent (adult)-one child family especially when there is a notable age difference between the parents (adult)