Health coverage is costly, which means many people opt to go without it. Budgeting for a basic health coverage policy just common sense, though, protecting your finances and lowering your risk of bankruptcy because of overwhelming medical bills. Not all health coverage plans are suitable for all individuals or families. Finding the best health insurance coverage can take research, and the time to start is now.

If you work for a company or organization that offers health coverage, this may be your best alternative. Employer-sponsored group health coverage is usually extremely affordable and offers comprehensive coverage. It is even more beneficial for those who have pre-existing conditions or individuals who are older and therefore considered riskier propositions. Not all employers offer health coverage, though, and if yours is among them or you are self-employed or unemployed, you may need to buy your policy on the open market.

When you are getting insurance on the open market, you will need to comparison shop, just as you would with any major purchase. Benefits and costs can vary, sometimes quite widely, among plans. You will need to compare in order to ensure you are getting the best policy that most closely aligns your needs and fits your budget.

Keep in mind that the cheapest plan may not be the most affordable plan when it comes to your budget and your health care needs. Low premiums may indicate incomplete coverage. The most affordable plan is ultimately the one that provides you with the benefits you need and will use at a price you can afford. Even good coverage, though, may occasionally have loopholes. If you opt for a comprehensive health care plan, you may still have to add on extra coverage for dental or vision in order to get the policy you really need.

Managed care plans, such as HMOs, PPOs and POS policies, are popular health insurance plans as they can provide rich benefits, often at quite affordable prices. However, they do come with some restrictions. One is that you will need to seek care within a specific network of health care providers or facilities in order to get the most coverage. If you have a doctor you prefer, you will need to check that he or she is within that plan's network of providers. If your doctor is considered out-of-network, you may not be covered or may be responsible for a higher coinsurance rate.

Finally, consider additional ways you may be able to save when you obtain your health insurance. Even though you have to spend more than 7.5 percent of your income on health costs before you are able to deduct them, you may be eligible for an HSA if you have a qualified HDHP, or high-deductible health plan. If your employer offers health insurance or a flexible spending account, both options may also help you save on taxes. Talk to your health insurance agent or a qualified tax professional to learn more.

Sofia Insurance can help you find the right health insurance coverage for you, your family or for your employees.