These three items are all equally important and are not stated in any sort of order to imply any level of importance. Although the three are stated in very basic generic terms, many people already understand this in their own manner and approach their evaluation of health insurance coverage on an individual or family basis as such. Health insurance is not easy and there are so many different state and federal regulations in addition to carrier specific terms and conditions that undoubtedly if anyone tells you that you do not need the assistance of an experienced licensed insurance agent, they are not helping you. In any case, here are the three main issues to wrestle with on a broad scope:
1 Health Status
Unfortunately, this is something somewhat out of our control, and yet it plays an important role in deciding what carrier to choose. It is important that as part of our strategy to take care of ourselves. Forget just for the sake of health insurance, but for ourselves and our families. Nevertheless, carriers have different criteria for underwriting and thus accepting or rejecting applicants. Certain conditions may be on a rider or excluded and others may be accepted with limitations. In the end what you should definitely avoid is submitting an application to a carrier that rejects you. This will negatively affect you in getting health insurance from another carrier.
2 Financial Situation
This is an important factor since it places a dollar amount in what you can afford with respect to health insurance. The truth is that affordability also plays into our personal value of our health and thus health insurance. As an example there can be two different people that earn the same income, have the same overall basic expenses, and their health insurance premiums are the same, yet one views health insurance as affordable (places a higher value on health) and the other views health insurance as unaffordable (they like to gamble and take too many vacations).
3 Appetite For Risk
Your willingness to take on risk will dictate what types of health insurance plans you need to be assessing. Some people like to share in the risk with the health insurance company by taking out policies with higher deductibles and/or higher co-insurance exposure; others are very adverse to risk. Although we have been led to believe that co-pays are important and exposure to risk is not a sound approach, it is definitely an approach that merits further analysis. A simple comparison between plans with high deductibles or co-insurance to low exposure plans based on monthly premiums will help you decide whether the savings in premium amounts is worth the added risk. For many it should be worth the added risk to get a high deductible policy with lower monthly premiums. The deductible amount you manage yourself, which means that if you were insuring that risk, your health insurance company would not be charging you for the added risk but also for the administration.
In conclusion, all three things are important to address and analyze, but the most important I left for the end. Do yourself a huge favor and speak to an experienced licensed insurance agent; it will not cost you a penny more to purchase a health insurance policy with their assistance.