Health Insurance Quotes and Plans – How to Make Comparisons
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. But first, you need to understand the usually confusing insurance-speak about networks, copays, deductibles and the others.
So what do you have to think about when you compare health insurance quotes?
Decide what’s important to you.
First off, make a list of the things that are important for you to have in a health plan. If you would like to continue the relationship you have with your current doctor, ask which insurance plans he or she intends to participate in during the forthcoming plan year. The networks are quickly getting smaller; what they were a couple of years ago may not be what they are now. When you compare health insurance quotes, always take this into account.
Look past the premium.
A low premium can really be attractive , but you need to know that a plan with a small premium can have a big deductible, which means you may be responsible for a large portion of your own medical bills with each passing year. You’ll need to meet the deductible before several types of services can be covered. This is clearly one of the most crucial reasons you should compare health insurance quotes before buying any plan.
Review all potential out-of-pocket costs.
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.
Research 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. Their website will let you determine whether a hospital or medical practice has been awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. Everything else being equal, you just want a health plan with a reputable hospital within your area.
Think about your prescription drugs.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance is another nonprofit organization that reviews medical practices.
Consumer Reports’ website applies the committee’s customer satisfaction, preventive services and treatment data on as basis for ranking health insurance plans on the state level. When you compare health insurance quotes, don’t forget to see if your prescription drugs are covered in the plan.
Though it seems easier to simply renew the play you have right now, it’s best to explore other options, whether privately or through your employer. Be sure to look at the entire picture and not just the price tag. 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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