While there used to only be a few options when it came to finding health insurance for your family, that’s no longer the case today. With increased surcharges for spousal coverage, joint plans, and supplemental insurance, there’s more to consider than ever before. Another challenge is the rising cost of healthcare.

There are so many parts of healthcare to consider that it’s no wonder so many families find themselves confused when enrollment period comes around each year. With so many network options and costs to consider, it’s harder than ever to make the right choice for your family. Here are things to consider if you want to get the best health insurance for your family.

1. Monthly Costs

One of the most important factors to first consider is the monthly cost of your health insurance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking higher cost health insurance is better. Many Americans end up paying more than they actually use, so you don’t want to find yourself wasting money when it comes to your health.

The first cost to look at is your monthly premium. This is the amount you’ll need to pay every month to stay covered. In general, the more you pay each month, the less you’ll pay for out of pocket expenses like office visits. Under the Affordable Care Act, many of these premiums are subsidized so they become more affordable depending on your income. Browse health insurance companies in your area to start your search.

Next, consider the deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. These will be where you’ll need to decide your families needs. Different plans will charge you different things like lower costs for individual office visits or lowered prescription medication cost. If you know what type of healthcare your family generally needs, this can help you make a sound choice. For example, you might not mind paying more out-of-pocket for each office visit if your family only visits the doctor once or twice a year.

2. Doctor Networks

You also need to consider what doctor network works best with your family. What doctors do you want to see? Do you already have a family doctor you’d like to continue using? If so, you’ll need to find an insurance company that considers your doctor to be in network. These means costs are lower to use this doctor compared to an out-of-network provider.

Beyond looking at doctors, consider specialists and emergency care as well. We can’t always prepare for medical emergencies, but we can do our best to create a plan of action. If you visit an out-of-network emergency clinic or hospital, this could cost you thousands or more. However, if you’re able to locate an in-network hospital near your home, you can save a lot of money.

3. Negotiating Costs and Alternative Care

Finally, if you want to get the most value for your insurance, you need to be willing to think outside the lines. Today, that means learning how to work with your health providers to keep costs down. While you shouldn’t ask for a discount in the middle of a medical emergency, you should be honest with your doctor about your financial situation.

Many doctors and clinics will push for tests or procedures that might not be medically necessary. Talking openly with your doctor about the importance of every test is a good way to look for places you don’t need to spend money. Doctors also often provide discounts if you’re able to pay upfront or at the time of service, and this can lower costs as well.

Finally, don’t be afraid to look into alternative medicine options. This doesn’t mean looking for shady practices or doctors who claim they cost less. It does mean considering telemedicine and other technology that makes lives easier and healthcare more affordable. With telemedicine, you can speak to a doctor or nurse in as little as a few clicks of a button. You can video chat, call, or sometimes even just answer questions on the screen. From there, you can receive many different prescriptions which can be sent to your local pharmacy.

Telemedicine connects you with a qualified doctor without the hassle of coordinating a doctor visit. You can speak to a professional any time of day, any day of the week, and it usually costs a fraction of a traditional visit. Some apps even accept insurance. Every penny counts when you’re trying to make the most of your health insurance.

Final Thoughts

Your family deserves health insurance that puts them first. During these confusing political times, it’s easy to see why so many people are tripped up by health insurance. Costs are rising, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for low-quality insurance. These tips will help you not only locate a plan that works for you, but also keep costs low when seeking medical care for your family.