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. However, you must first cut through the typically confusing insurance-talk about coinsurance, networks, deductibles, and all the rest.
So just what exactly should you consider as you compare health insurance quotes?
Know what’s important to you.
First of all, make a list of the things that are important for you to have in a health plan. If you intend to continue the relationship you currently have with e a certain doctor, ask which insurance plans he or she is going to participate in during the approaching plan year. The networks are quickly getting smaller; what they were a couple of years ago may not be what they are 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. Before certain types of services are covered, you’ll need to meet the deductible first. Clearly, this is among the biggest reasons you need to compare health insurance quotes before deciding on a particular plan.
Consider all possible 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. 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.
Consider prescription drugs.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance is another nonprofit organization that reviews 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, be sure to check if your prescription drugs are covered by the plan.
Even if it may seem easy to just renew your current plan, you should review your other options, whether in private or through your employer. Look at the general picture instead of focusing on the basic price tag. It could take you a bit more time, but without a doubt, you do have to compare health insurance quotes deciding to buy a certain plan.