Selecting the Right Plan for You and Your Family

No matter what your health care needs are, it is important that you select a health insurance plan that meets your specific needs.  This isn’t easy.  Below are resources that Consumer Health First and others have developed to assist consumers with this important decision.  Also included are resources that have been created in partnership with those who work with special populations. If you are interested in working with Consumer Health First to develop something similar for the population you work with please contact us

For Everyone

NEW: Navigator Resource Guide from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation

View our checklist for selecting a plan.

Five things to ask yourself when selection a plan, by Medchi and NAMI.

How Insurance Works  - a guide by Mental Health America, available in seven languages.

How to Use Health Insurance - a guide by Mental Health America, available in seven languages.

Deductables and Co-Insurance factsheet.  View it in Spanish.

Out of Pocket Maximum factsheet. View it in Spanish.

Information on Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Benchmark Plans - The Affordable Care Act requires non-grand fathered health plans in the individual and small group markets to cover essential health benefits (EHB), which include items and services in a broad range of categories. Make sure your plan covers them.

For Individuals with Substance Use Disorder

View a comprehensive list of things you should check before picking a plan. This was developed in partnership with the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Drug Policy and Public Health Strategies Clinic with funding from Open Society Institute-Baltimore.

Student-attorneys of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law Drug Policy Clinic, have created a Parity and Addiction Equity Resource Guide to assist providers and consumers with federal and state parity regulations that are currently in place. The Guide also has tips for identifying parity violations, disclosure provisions and how to submit appeals through your insurer.

    For the LGBT Community

    See our Checklists for:

    Transgender People

    Read the Maryland Insurance Administration's BulletinClarification of Coverage for Transgender Individuals.  

    Gay, Same-Gender-Loving, and Bisexual Men

    Lesbian, Same-Gender-Loving, and Bisexual Women

     Out2Enroll is a collaborative effort to educate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community about their options under the Affordable Care Act.  Sign up for Out2Enroll Alerts.

    Watch the White House briefing on the importance of the ACA to the LGBT community.

    Strong Families: Where to Start, What to Ask:  A Guide for LGBT People Choosing Health Care Plans.

    HIV/AIDS Community

    See our Checklist to help those with HIV select the right plan. (please note that these can be printed double sided)

    Together We are Greater than AIDS -What the ACA means for someone with HIV/AIDS: a website to help you learn about your choices.

      For People of Color

      Read HHS's The Affordable Care Act and African Americans for information on how to get covered and how HHS is addressing health disparities.

      For Women

      Is pregnancy in your future? - View the checklist developed with funding from Raising Women's Voices.

      How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage? See this infographic and fact sheet for the answer.

      Women's Health Insurance Coverage Factsheet

      The National Women's Law Center's  - What Women need to Know about Health Care Enrollment has lots of great information for women all over the US and in all sorts of different situations.  Check it out.

      Join the Women 4 Health Care community to learn how to find and understand the affordable new health insurance options available through the health insurance law.

      View the list of preventative health services that are no-cost to women under the ACA.

      For People with Disabilities

      What to know When Assisting a Consumer with an Intellectual Disability

      What to Know When Assisting a Consumer with Mental Illness 

      What to Know When Assisting a Consumer with Multiple Sclerosis

      Read the Disability Guide from the National Disability Resource Collaborative.

      View the Medicaid Buy-In Fact Sheet from the National Disabliily Resource Collaborative.

        For Victims of Domestic Violence

        Read ACA, Tax Credits, and Domestic Violence from Jackson Hewitt about to learn more.

        For Young Adults

        Young Invincibles - Learn about your health care options, what the ACA means for you, and information on tax credits.

        For Students

        Read this brief: Helping Students Understand and Enroll in Health Insurance.