Massachusetts residents have several options at their disposal when shopping online for health insurance. Overall, median health insurance costs in Massachusetts are on par with the rest of the country. Still, there are some instances when monthly premiums and deductibles may be higher than usual.
Whether or not you’re trying to find the best rates on insurance policies for the first time, it’s never an easy process without a plan before you begin. You could start by going to insurance companies’ websites one by one, filling out various forms just to get a single quote, but that’s by far the most time-consuming, tedious way to shop.
The alternative is to search through our platform – MassHealthPlans.com – to compare insurance policies, benefits, and prices side-by-side in one place.
Still, you could inadvertently make it harder on yourself if you don’t know the most vital terminology from the beginning. That’s why this article highlights what goes into health insurance pricing in Massachusetts.
To give you a head start in your search, the following information is critical to find the best prices on affordable health insurance policies in the state.
What goes into health insurance costs in Massachusetts?
At the time of this writing, the average cost of a health plan in Massachusetts was $7,184 for a typical 40-year old in good health. This figure places the state among the most expensive states to buy health insurance, so that’s the bottom line you should know before you start searching.
Still, compared to other states in the New England region, Massachusetts has more affordable insurance policies than both New York and Vermont. Likewise, employers in the state are more likely to offer some form of health insurance than in other parts of the country.
The reason is that Massachusetts passed its own health care reform policies before the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” became law. Here, employers with over 11 full-time equivalent employees must offer a minimum amount of coverage, and that’s been the law since 2006.
Those are only a few factors that play a significant role in health insurance pricing in Massachusetts as more people have insurance than ever before, bringing down costs for the entire market at large. Massachusetts health insurance may be slightly pricier than in the Midwest or the South, but it would be even more expensive without health reform laws to make insurance fairer for all.
We understand that it’s relatively easy to get lost in the jargon, so here are the essential insurance terms to know when pricing out health policies online.
What’s an insurance premium?
A premium is simply the cost of the insurance policy you pay to activate it initially. Until you cover the premium, you won’t have an insurance policy in good standing, so if you need to use the coverage, the policy won’t pay for your care.
Generally, monthly premiums tend to be the number one deciding factor when shopping for health plans, but they’re not the only expenses to know; deductibles come into the equation too.
What’s an insurance deductible?
You’re not alone if you don’t know the difference between an insurance premium and an insurance deductible. While a premium is the base price of the policy, a deductible is an amount due before you can receive services at all. Sometimes, you must pay your policy’s deductible in full, even to see a doctor.
The catch with deductibles is that you could be paying a much higher total if you opt for insurance with low monthly premiums. Although if you choose a plan with a higher premium than usual, you’ll typically get a lower deductible.
Honestly, it’s a crucial fact you should be aware of when pricing out health policies online.
As a rule, you should always carefully go through a policy’s benefits to see if the insurance is worth the price tag. Still, by looking at the difference between deductibles and premiums, you can make an educated guess on the level of coverage you’ll receive.
What’s a co-pay?
Aside from premiums and deductibles, you’ll also have to account for co-payments in the price of a Massachusetts insurance policy. Even when a policy comes with an affordable premium and deductible, you may still need to cover a co-payment before seeing a doctor.
Indeed, a deductible is an amount you need to pay to begin using the insurance, but you’ll need to cover the co-pay amount each time you see a doctor or use the insurance for any reason.
Along those lines, co-pays could be what makes one policy more attractive versus a comparable package from a different insurance company. If you plan on seeing several specialists over the years, a policy’s co-payment level is a factor you can’t ignore.
What are out-of-pocket costs?
So far, we’ve covered premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. Any other cost that isn’t one of those three expenses is considered an out-of-pocket cost. Let’s explain what we mean a little further because it’s a common point of contention among consumers.
Before the passing of health care reform laws, insurance companies could charge you an unlimited amount if your care exceeded your policy’s benefits. Nowadays, insurance companies can only charge out-of-pocket costs up to a certain point. After you reach your out-of-pocket cap, you won’t need to make additional payments.
Of all the stipulations in Obamacare, the out-of-pocket cap is one of the most beneficial for the price-conscious consumer.
What about the cost of prescription drugs?
The cost of prescription drugs is yet another factor to keep in when looking for health insurance in Massachusetts. Technically speaking, these costs don’t count as out-of-pocket costs because some insurance policies specify a different amount for prescriptions.
The confusing part is that it doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually pay for medications out-of-pocket because some health insurance plans cap the amount the policy will pay for prescriptions.
Where to go to compare health insurance costs in Massachusetts?
Manually searching the internet for health insurance quotes is tedious, to say the least. No matter how you begin, it’s a time-consuming process to compare rates unless you have a tool to see benefits and prices side-by-side.
That’s why you should visit MassHealthPlans.com for more details on the best insurance policies in the state.
When you visit our website, our platform will show you all the available health plans that you qualify for. All it takes is filling out a simple questionnaire and telling us your basic contact information.
We want to make the search for quality health coverage as quick and easy as possible so that you can get a fair value on the right insurance policy for your needs.
Click to start comparing health insurance quotes today!