On a yearly basis, generally during open enrollment, it is often wise for an individual or a family to conduct a yearly checkup on their healthcare plan. This process is essential to insure that you are receiving the proper coverage with appropriate and affordable deductibles, that your prescription coverage is adequate and does not require too much out of pocket expense, and that it meets the coverage you and or your family requires based on your medical history and potential future medical liability.

Consequently, it may be helpful to provide a quick summary of how to evaluate, shop for and select an appropriate health insurance plan that meets your personal medical needs. Here are five quick tips:

#1: First of all, being disciplined to shop around.  So often it is easy just to go with the flow and not evaluate and compare one's current health insurance plan with other medical plans offered.  Therefore, make a pledge to shop and compare.

#2: Make sure that your research of medical plans covers the area in which you reside.  This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is worth reiterating before one gets deep into their research.

#3: Make a list of those benefits that are important and needful to your personal medical need situation.  For example, if a good prescription component is needed, then take that into consideration during your selection comparison.  Another example could include the option that if you and your family are fairly healthy, then the decision to go with a plan that offers a high deductible at a lower monthly cost is warranted or visa-versa if your medical needs or anticipated needs are greater.

To help facilitate the third step, perhaps a tool that may prove useful is a lined sheet listing the medical components need at the top of the form and moving left to right.  On the left side of the sheet, the various medical insurance companies can be listed.  Check marks next to the medical company can be made under the appropriate component offered.

#4: Investigate the various medical insurance offerings.  Specifically determine whether you wish to be involved with an HMO, PPO, EPO, or POS.  Each offers a different level of care and ability to be medically treated within a specific health system or outside of a narrow health system provider without the need of referrals.  It is important to be knowledgeable in order to select the right plan.

#5: Don't be afraid to ask questions of those around you to learn what works and doesn't work with their plans and ascertain the level of their service provider to meet their medical insurance plans.