Resources – Getting Started & Next Steps

21 Sep

Resources – Getting Started & Next Steps

How to Compare Health Insurance Quotes and Plans

One of the smartest- if not the smartest- things you can do before purchasing a health insurance plan, is to request different quotes from different companies and make comparisons. However, you must first cut through the typically confusing insurance-talk about coinsurance, networks, deductibles, and all the rest.

So what do you have to think about when you compare health insurance quotes?

Know your priorities.

First and foremost, make a list of the things that are important for you to have in a health plan. If you plan to continue your relationship your present doctor, ask what insurance plans he or she will participate in for the coming plan year. Networks are now getting smaller; what a network was two years ago may not be the same network it is now. Consider this as you compare health insurance quotes.

Don’t just focus on the premium.

Yes, a low premium does get rather tempting, but you should know that a low-premium plan may have a high deductible, possibly making you shoulder a big part of your own medical bills year to year. You must meet the deductible first before coverage for various types of services can begin. Clearly, this is among the biggest reasons you need to compare health insurance quotes before deciding on a particular plan.

Go through all possible out-of-pocket expenses.

Even if a lot of preventive care types should be fully covered now at no cost to you, health reform dictates that you may possibly have to pay copayments, coinsurance (a part of the total costs) and a deductible for the other services.

Get to know your doctors and hospitals.

Begin with the independent and non-profit organization known as The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), which is behind the accreditation and certification of many hospitals and health care programs today. On their website, you will know which hospitals or medical practices in your area have received the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. In the end, you want a health plan, everything else being equal, with a very high-quality hospital in your vicinity.

Think about your prescription drugs.

Also check with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, another nonprofit organization evaluating the quality of medical practices.
In ranking health insurance plans at the state level, the Consumer Reports’ website makes use of the committee’s data on preventive services, treatment and customer satisfaction. When you compare health insurance quotes, don’t forget to see if your prescription drugs are covered in the plan.

Shop around!

Though it may seem easy to simply renew any plan you presently have, you need to review any other, possibly newer options available to you, whether through your employer or privately. Try to appreciate the whole picture and not just the numbers involved. It may require a little more time from you, but yes, you need to compare health insurance quotes if you want to be wise about your purchase.

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