Understand Your Health Insurance Options

We tell you how to pick the best health insurance – whether you get coverage through your employer or on your own – and offer strategies to hold down your out-of-pocket medical costs.

Deciding whether to buy health insurance is a no-brainer. Think of what would happen if you didn’t have insurance and someone in your family suffered a serious illness requiring a long hospital stay or expensive prescription drugs. How quickly would snowballing medical bills wipe you out? And don’t forget that most people now have to pay a penalty if they don’t have coverage.

But the health insurance world has changed significantly over the past few years. Obamacare introduced new rules about what health policies must cover, how and when they’re sold, and who must be accepted (insurers can no longer reject anyone or charge more because of their health). It also limited the amount insurers can charge older policyholders and introduced tax credits to help some people with the premiums. And even people who have coverage through their employer are experiencing many changes -- with higher deductibles, more out-of-pocket costs, less-generous coverage for prescription drugs, and shrinking networks of doctors and hospitals.

It’s important to choose your health insurance carefully and to learn some key strategies for getting the most out of the coverage once you start to use it. Here is some information that can help you save hundreds -- or thousands -- of dollars in health-care costs.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

Guide to Picking the Best Health Insurance for 2015

Find out what to look for when choosing the best policy for your family -- whether you have coverage through your employer or are buying a policy on your own.

Buying Health Insurance in the Off Season

Open enrollment for individual health insurance ends on February 15, 2015, but you may be eligible to buy a new policy after that if you’ve experienced certain life changes.

Solutions for 3 Health-Insurance Challenges

Whether you get your policy through your employer or on your own, you’re likely to face higher deductibles, shrinking provider networks, and higher drug costs. Find out how to deal with these changes when you use your policy.

What to Expect From Your Health Insurance

Learn more about how employers are adjusting their health insurance coverage and benefits in 2015 and what you can do to make the most of the changes.

50 Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs

You’re most likely paying a bigger share of your health-care costs than you did in the past.I Insurers have been raising deductibles and switching from fixed-dollar co-payments to coinsurance, which is based on a percentage of the cost of care. Your out-of-pocket costs could rise significantly unless you follow some key strategies for smarter health care shopping.

FAQs About Health Savings Accounts

If you have a high-deductible health insurance policy – either through your employer or on your own -- you may qualify to contribute to a health savings account, which can give you a tax-free stash of money to use for medical expenses in any year. Find out how to make the most of an HSA.

Pay Cash for Your Health Care

Sometimes you can get better service, and maybe even save money, if you don’t use your health insurance. Find out about new options that can make it worthwhile to pay cash.