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Picking a Health Care Plan Assignment (100 points)
Since this week is all about Health Care, I think it's appropriate to have you research and select a Health Care Plan for yourself and your family (if you have a spouse/kids). If you already have a plan, you may include it as ONE of the options you research, but you still have to evaluate if it is STILL the best plan for you (if you are still under your parents plan, you may use that as one of the options you research- and find out how much your family can afford.)

If you currently do not have an income, you can use a budget amount that you think would be realistic for when you will have an income (ie: move out and are supporting yourself).

The assignment is to attach a Microsoft Word (or PDF) document to this assignment with the following parameters:

There should be 3 sections in your Essay:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Summary

The Introduction should cover:

  1. WHO you are looking to cover (yourself? spouce?  kids?);
  2. What are your health care needs?
  3. Do you want to keep your current doctors?
  4. How much can you afford per month to pay for a plan?

Body of the Essay: With the above information you answered, you will research 3 Health Care Plans from different Companies of your choosing and find one plan within each of the 3 companies that you feel fits your needs at this time.

  • COMPARE each of the 3 plans with each other (NOT the 3 Companies! -- but rather a specific plan within each company... I do NOT want to see any comparisons of HMOs vs PPOs or Aetna Vs Keiser.... but rather the Aetna 1500 plan vs Keiser's 2500...etc.)

The body should include:

  1. Who is covered (individual or family)?
  2. Type of plan...PPO/HMO?
  3. Cost of overall plan?
  4. Co-Pays / Out of pocket expenses?
  5. What services or types of treatment are covered/ what items of importance to you are not covered?
  6. Doctors - are yours 'in network' or 'out of network'?
  7. Convenient locations for treatment?
  8. and any other needs/interests you may find to compare.

The Summary: After all the comparisons, summarize your findings and CHOOSE ONE of the health plans that you think would be the best for you and explain why.

Helpful Information:
I have posted 3 examples of good work for this assignment to give you an idea of what I'm looking for:
Picking a Health Plan - Example 1
Picking a Health Plan - Example 2 
Picking a Health Plan - Example 3 

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a health care plan. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • What are the current and future health care needs in your household?
    Do you think you will use health care services often or just rarely? That answer can help you decide whether to choose a plan that offers basic coverage, or one with broader benefits.
  • Do you want to keep your current doctors?
    Will you want to keep seeing your doctor? That might dictate the type of plan you choose. HMO plans require that you use doctors in the network. So, check to see if your doctor is in the network. Or consider a Preferred Provider Organization plan. It lets you visit almost any doctor.
  • How much can you afford to pay for health insurance?
    Knowing your price range can help narrow the options.

    Make sure you understand your costs. You will have a monthly cost for your plan and other expenses, such as an annual deductible or payments for office visits. Plans with higher monthly costs tend to have lower costs for office visits and other services. If you want lower monthly costs, you will pay higher costs for office visits and other services.
  • What health expenses will the plan cover?
    When comparing plans, look to see what expenses are covered. Will the plan pay for physicals, shots and other preventive care? How about prescription drugs or dental care? Some plans cover expenses like these, some do not. Be sure to understand and assess the benefits of each plan you are considering.
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