plans can meet health needs, budgets

When you shop for health insurance at, you’ll have a variety of plans to choose from. Look for a plan that meets your health needs and fits your budget.

You should consider factors such as the monthly premium costs, the yearly deductible, what services are covered before you meet the deductible, whether your doctors are in the plan’s network, whether prescription drugs you need are covered and whether you qualify for cost-sharing reductions that limit your out-of-pocket costs.

Please keep in mind that the deadline is Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1. The final deadline for 2016 coverage is Jan. 31.

While premiums can often be a deciding factor, other out-of-pocket costs could be just as important.
Factoring in such costs has always been part of buying health insurance, but HealthCare. gov now offers resources to help you better understand your choices.

These new features allow you to see your total estimated out-of-pocket costs, search health plans by your preferred provider, and see whether your prescription drugs are covered.

One key out-of-pocket cost is a plan’s deductible.

A deductible is the amount you owe for the health care services your plan covers before your insurance begins to pay.