Tips For Getting The Most Bang For Your Health Care Bucks

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, dramatically expanded the availability and scope of health insurance coverage in the United States, and the ample benefits of ACA health plans reflect this revolutionary change in the law. Your plan allows you and your family to access care and providers, avail yourself of preventative services to stay healthy, and protect yourself from financial catastrophe in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury.

But as great as your coverage may be on paper, it is up to you to maximize the benefits of ACA health plans. Doing so requires understanding your plan’s key features and terms so you can make informed decisions and take control of your family’s health care.

Basics of ACA Health Plans

No matter the specifics of your coverage or the carrier providing that coverage, all ACA plans share the same essential characteristics, including how costs are divided between you and your insurer. Here are basic terms that you need to know to get the most out of your plan:


Your premium is the amount you pay for your plan, usually every month.


A deductible refers to how much you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company starts picking up the tab for your care and treatment.

Copayments and Coinsurance

These terms describe your share of the costs for medical services, usually a fixed amount (copayment) or a percentage (coinsurance).


Your insurer has a network of relationships with specific physicians, hospitals, and other providers. You will typically pay less for treatments provided in that network.

Essential Health Benefits

There are basic healthcare services that all ACA health plans must cover, including preventive care, prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health services, and more.

Strategies for Optimizing The Benefits of ACA Health Plans

Start With the Right Plan

Every person and family is different, and which health insurance plan is best for you depends on your budget, health care needs, and other factors. Picking the right plan at the outset is essential to getting the most coverage at the lowest cost. Working with an experienced Arizona health insurance broker is the best way to ensure you enroll in the optimal plan for your circumstances.

AZ Health - preventative care is one of the benefits of aca health plansTake Advantage of Preventive Care

As noted, all ACA plans must cover a range of preventive care services for adults and children at no additional cost. These benefits of ACA health plans include vaccinations, screenings, regular check-ups, and wellness visits. Using these free benefits can decrease the chances of illness or injury down the road that could cost you significant sums. Preventative care also increases the possibility of detecting problems early when they can be treated more efficiently and effectively.

Stay In-Network

Using in-network providers ensures you receive the maximum benefits of ACA health plans. If you visit or get treatment from out-of-network providers or facilities, you will pay more out-of-pocket, and some coverage that may be available in-network may not be available outside of the network.

Understand Your Deductible

Arguably the most significant factor in terms of how much you will pay for care is the amount of your deductible. A higher deductible translates to paying more out-of-pocket for care but will likely pay lower monthly premiums. The reverse is true as well.

For more information on how health insurance deductibles work, please see our article Understanding Health Insurance Deductibles in Arizona.

Consider a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

If an HSA or FSA is available as part of your ACA health plan, consider taking advantage of these tax-advantaged accounts to save money for medical expenses. HSAs can also have investment options, allowing you to grow your funds over time.

You Might Like: The Benefits of Having a Health Savings Account in Arizona

Compare Costs

Different healthcare providers and facilities can have varying costs for the same procedures or services. To get the maximum benefits of ACA health plans, use any online tools your insurance company provides to compare expenses and choose the most cost-effective options.

Stay Up-To-Date On Your Coverage

Keep up-to-date with changes to your ACA plan, coverage details, and any updates related to healthcare policies. Regularly review your coverage to ensure it continues to meet your needs and makes financial sense, including adjusting your premium tax credit for health insurance if your income level changes significantly. If your circumstances change, consider meeting with a health insurance broker to discuss modifying or switching your coverage.

Arizona Health Insurance Experts Can Help You Get The Most Out of Your Health Plan

Maximizing the benefits of ACA health plans requires a combination of informed decision-making, proactive healthcare management, and taking advantage of available resources. One of those resources is an experienced, local Arizona health insurance broker who can help you understand your options and select the best coverage for your family, whether an Obamacare plan or other options.

Arizona Health Insurance Experts helps families and individuals across the state find the health insurance plan to keep them healthy and happy by connecting them with the state’s most extensive collection of independent insurance agents and brokers. This partnership delivers the exceptional customer experience you deserve and the family health insurance coverage you need. Find a broker near you today.