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3 Key Steps For Getting Health Insurance In Birmingham Alabama

UAB Hospital
UAB Hospital
1802 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
Phone: 205.934.3411
Plus Code: G54W+JQ Birmingham, Alabama


Getting a first-rate health insurance plan is not always as simple as it seems.  Everyone can benefit from a little help in this regard.  This article provides you with 3 useful steps in finding a high-quality health insurance plan for you and your family.

Step 1: Compare forms of health insurance plans

There are several health plan options that you may choose from in Birmingham AL.  Some of the health plan choices that are available to you, are not insurance plans at all - but rather faith-based health plans.  Faith-based health plans, or health care sharing plans, (as they are sometimes referred to), work in a fashion very similar to traditional insurance plans.  However, they are not insurance plans in a legal sense. (More on this later.)

Your health plan coverage options are:

  • Traditional health insurance. Traditional health insurance refers to plans that are regulated by the Affordable Care Act. Companies offering these plans include: BlueCross BlueShield.
  • Short-term health insurance. Short-term health insurance is actually not so "short" any more.  Thanks to new government rules, you can, in some cases, keep the same low-cost short-term health insurance plan for a year or longer - making such plans a viable long-term health insurance option.  Companies offering these plans include: United Healthcare, National General.
  • Faith-based health plans. Faith-based, or healthcare sharing plans is an exploding new market.  Their unique plan structure makes such plans an intriguing and affordable alternative to traditional health insurance plans.


Good to know:  Many plans don't provide drug benefits, or discounts, even on generics, until you reach your deductible, which is often in the thousands of dollars.  Instead of just accepting your insurance plan's lousy prescription drug benefit, try using websites such as Blinkhealth.com or Goodrx.com to shop around for the best price for your medication in your area.


While evaluating plans, search for a summary of benefits.  You can get links to most summaries through any online market place.  A provider folder or directory, which displays the facilities and doctors that are part of the plan’s physician network, should be readily available.

Also, when comparing various plans, endeavor to pay serious attention to your family's medical needs. Take a good look at the cost and manner of treatment you have gotten in the past. Though it is not possible to foretell every medical expenditure, being current about what is going on can assist you in making the right decision.

Step 2: Compare health plan networks

Be sure to check the physician network of any plan that you are considering.  Make certain the specific hospitals or doctors you need, are participating in the network.  It's far less expensive to access an in-network doctor or facility than it is to utilize a facility or doctor that is out-of-network.  This is due to the fact that insurance firms negotiate with physicians and hospitals to obtain more reasonable rates.  When you opt out of the network, those negotiated rates are not available to you.  If you have personal doctors and you want to keep visiting them, make certain they are part of the provider network associated with your plan.

Good to know:  Do the math.  When shopping for health insurance, most people focus on the monthly premiums, but you also need to take a close look at deductibles.  For example, if you have a choice between a lower silver plan premium of $345 a month for a plan with a $5,500 deductible, and a higher gold plan premium at $465 a month with a $1,750 deductible, you may be better off with the second plan if you anticipate needing more than $1,500 in medical care.  With the second plan, your total annual cost for the premium and deductible comes to $7,330, a $2,310 savings over the lower premium plan.



Step 3: Compare out-of-pocket costs

Perhaps the most important part of any health plan is the amount you will be responsible to pay should a medical need arise.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your plan will pay toward a medical bill, and what you will be required to pay.  You need to be clear on this issue for every medical circumstance.  This includes office visits, x-rays and laboratory tests, emergency room visits, hospital procedures and stays, etc.  Also, make sure you know the maximum amount your plan will pay toward every medical circumstance.  Many plans have lifetime limits.  Some plans have procedure limits.  These are things you do not want to learn of after you gone through a medical circumstance.  You need to know before you purchase your health insurance plan. When it comes to finding a good health insurance plan in Birmingham, there is a lot you need to know.  Talk to the experts.  We are pleased to help.  Give us a call today.



Other articles:  Explaining The Growth of Healthcare Sharing Healthplans
Is Short-Term Health Insurance Right For You?
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