Skip all navigation and go to page content
HealthInsurance.Alabama.Gov
Welcome to HealthInsurance.Alabama.Gov  Top Navigation Feedback Home Page Contact Us About Us Search the Alabama website
EMPLOYERS
 Small-Sized Business Employer
(2-50 employees)
 Medium-Sized Business Employer
(51-250 employees)
 Large-Sized Business Employer
(250 or more employees)
INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES
 START HERE - What Health Insurance is Right for Me?
 Self-Employed
 Employed & Uninsured
 Unemployed & Uninsured
 College Student
 Recent College or High School Graduate
 Uninsured Children
 Transitioning to Retirement
 Maximizing Your Healthcare Coverage
 AHIP and COBRA
 Finding a Health Plan and Policy
RESOURCES
 Alabama Health Plans
 Small Employer Resources
 National Business Groups & Associations
 Low- or No-Cost Health Insurance Programs
 Consumer Health Insurance Information
HELPFUL WEB TOOLS
 Glossary
 Tax Savings Benefits Calculator for Employees
 Tipsheets

"My focus is on my business and getting money coming in the door. At the same time, I realize that if I get sick or have a major health issue, everything I’ve worked so hard for would be at risk. Are there insurance products out there designed for someone like me?"

Self-Employed

STEP 1: GETTING STARTED: WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN CHOOSING A HEALTH PLAN?

You want the most affordable health insurance that will provide the best coverage for you and your family. Asking yourself a few basic questions will uncover more of what you need to know to select the best health plan for you.

What Do You Need?

This is really the heart of the matter. Your health insurance should meet the needs of you and your spouse and/or children, so think through what those needs are:

  • Will the plan cover work-related injuries or conditions?
  • Do you have health problems or chronic conditions? If so, will the plan cover your pre-existing conditions or those of family members?
  • Are you starting or planning to expand your family?
  • Do you require annual exams or make frequent visits to a health care provider?
  • Do you require therapy (e.g., physical, speech) or care for mental health or substance abuse issues?

What Do You Want?

You can think in terms of ease, access, and convenience when identifying what you want from your coverage:

  • Do you have a choice of doctors or hospitals—what about a specialist for additional care?
  • How convenient does your care need to be?
  • Can you get care while on travel or away from home?
  • Will it be easy to schedule an appointment?
  • Will claims and other paperwork need to be filed? If so, how much and how often?

When thinking about critical services/options, remember that hospitalization is the most important service covered by insurance. Without coverage for hospital care, one illness could cost you thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of dollars.

How Much Are You Willing to Pay?

The goal is to choose the plan that meets both your needs and your budget. Keep in mind that plans that allow you the most choices in doctors and hospitals also tend to cost more than plans that limit choices. Plans that help to manage the care you receive usually cost you less, but you give up some freedom of choice.

  • How much is the monthly premium? Can you lower the premium by purchasing coverage with a higher deductible?
  • After you have met your deductible, what portion of your costs is paid by the plan?
  • If a plan does not cover certain services or care that you think you will need, how much will you have to pay?
  • Are there any limits on how you much you must pay in case of major illness?
  • How much is the co-pay per visit to an in-network physician and to an out-of-network physician?

Looking at monthly premiums and deductibles is a big part of comparing policies and making a final decison on coverage. Reducing Health Insurance Policy Premiums provides some suggestions on how to lower your monthly policy premiums.

Back to top

Skip bottom navigation and go back to content

Home | Contact Us | About Us | Search | Health Benefits Tax Savings Calculator for Employees
What Health Insurance is Right for Me | Employers | Individuals/Families | Resources

Disclaimer
Copyright © 2006-2007 HealthInsurance.Alabama.Gov ®. All rights reserved.