This is the most obvious and frequent determining factor for anyone shopping for health insurance. There is nothing wrong with going with the most affordable option. This doesn’t mean you are cheap, or getting less coverage (as long as you are comparing similar plans from each company). When health insurance companies want your business they will price their plans so you will buy them. There is always at least two companies fighting for your business.
Are the doctors and hospitals you visit in a particular company's network? You are going to want to make sure all your primary and specialty doctors and your preferred hospitals are “in-network”. If not, you could find yourself paying substantially more money for the same treatment. One of the first things I do for all my clients before they fill out an application is check the network status of their doctors. You will also want to make sure if there are any noteworthy exclusions from that company’s network as well.
Most plans are fairly similar to one another, there are minor differences here and there, and of course one company might offer a completely different line of plans than anyone else. Some of the more common differences you will find in plans are copay prices, coinsurance levels, deductible options and out-of-pocket maximum limits. These benefits are generally “in the same ballpark” as one another. But sometimes there is one little benefit difference that seals the deal.
This could technically be a subheading under price, since depending on how a company underwrites your application directly affects the price of the policy. However, there are times when your medical history can cause you to be declined for coverage with one company and accepted by another. Obviously this decision is sometimes made for you since you are going to take whatever policy you can get. Also, once the underwriting process is complete, the company that was the cheapest may no longer be. It never hurts to have more than one application going to see which company comes back with the best offer.
A majority of the time people are going to go with the most affordable option, and rightfully so. But if you are going to pay extra for something it is in your best interest to make sure you are getting everything you need.