The best plan is one that affordably covers all your medical needs—and connects you with a conveniently located medical group. Step one is simple: assess your medical needs, consider the last 12 months. How many times did you see the doctor? Were most of your visits with your primary care physician or did you see specialists? If your health plan covers your spouse or children, consider their medical visits, too. And don't forget urgent care and emergency room visits.
Using this list as a guide, think ahead to what you might need during the next year. Be sure to include annual preventive care services, such as an annual check up, medicare annual wellness visit, and any screenings that may be due like a colonoscopy or mammogram. If you are expecting a baby or planning a pregnancy, factor in prenatal care visits and a hospital delivery. Some health plans cover genetic counseling and infertility services. If you anticipate the need, write it down.
If you have young children, be sure to include well-baby and well-child check-ups, immunizations and school physicals, along with periodic office visits for illness or injuries.
Once you've compiled this master list of medical needs, you can begin to objectively evaluate each health plan.