Go through your medical needs for you and any dependents you may be responsible for. Do you have any ongoing medical conditions? What medications do you take regularly? How many times per year, on average, do you go to the doctor? Are you thinking about getting pregnant? This information will be important when you look at available plans.
Gather information on healthcare plan options, including the costs and coverages. Your employer may or may not offer a plan, and that plan may or may not be the best option for you. Your state may have a healthcare exchange, and there is also a federal exchange, where you can shop for plan options. You may also qualify for CHIP, Medicare, or Medicaid. All of that can be reviewed here: Healthcare.gov. You can also look at plans by a simple Internet search, or if you have an insurance advisor they may be able to help you identify and evaluate plans.
Then comes the really hard part – you need to go through each plan, assess what it covers and, more importantly, what it doesn’t cover, and make a decision. There are trade offs you will have to make (see some tips below), but if you do your homework you can make an informed decision. We’re not going to lie: this is a really difficult process, and at times you’re going to feel like you need a crystal ball. The decisions you make could be life changing for you and your family. But we know that you can handle it – because you’re a savvy and intelligent woman!
Before ACA, women buying insurance on the individual market were routinely charged up to 50% more for monthly premiums than men. This practice was known as “gender rating.”