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Archive for the ‘Health Insurance’ Category

Helpful Plans to Choose a Health Insurance

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

1. Check for grandfather exemptions. If your employer makes no substantial changes to your insurance plan, it may be “grandfathered in” and not subject to certain required provisions in the health reform law. These include free coverage (with no copay) for preventive services like blood pressure or depression screening, smoking cessation programs, and immunizations. Plan materials will indicate whether or not the plan is grandfathered, along with the benefits it provides.
2. Decide which plan type best meets your needs. There are generally three types of plans: health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point-of-service plans (POS). An HMO requires that you use physicians within a specific network, giving you less flexibility but a more affordable cost. A PPO allows you to stay in-network or go out of network for a heftier fee; out-of-pocket costs are usually higher for PPO’s than for HMO’s. POS plans combine elements of HMO’s and PPO’s. They give you the option to pay more for venturing out of network, but usually require you to choose a primary care physician within the network and get a referral from that physician before seeing any specialist.

3. Identify changes before re-enrolling. That could save you from dealing with unexpected costs if your benefits have changed. Coverage for a particular service such as chiropractic care may have disappeared, or the cost of covering your spouse may have increased. So it could pay to change plans. More likely, your monthly premiums have gone up, due to rising healthcare costs.

4. Make adjustments to your current plan or consider switching. Take into account whether your needs have changed. If you’re planning a family, you might need maternity coverage, for example, or perhaps you’d like to add an adult child back onto your insurance. All plans are now required to cover children up to age 26, though grandfathered plans may exclude these young adults if they have access to health benefits through an employer. Adult children, like those under 18, can no longer be rejected for having pre-existing conditions like asthma or cancer.

5. Factor in your favorite doctors. Before electing a different plan, check to see that your primary care physician and specialists are in its provider network. Women in non-grandfathered plans now have the freedom to see an obstetrician-gynecologist without a referral, but they still need to make sure any doctor they choose participates in their plan’s network if they have an HMO or don’t want to face extra fees if their plan is a POS.

6. Size up the cost. Compare the total cost of various plans using an online calculator, a tool offered by many employers. If you are young and healthy, you may want to trade pricey monthly premiums for a higher deductible (paying more out-of-pocket before coverage starts). Be sure to factor in copays (the physicians’ fees) and coinsurance (your share of the cost for prescriptions or hospitalization).

7. Don’t get lured by those new freebies. While new plans now require you to pay nothing for certain routine preventive care, you might not need to switch off your old plan to reap this benefit. Many plans were already offering preventive services at minimal or even no cost prior to the passage of health reform, says Randall Abbott, a senior healthcare consultant with Towers Watson, a global consulting firm based in New York.

Finding the Best Health Insurance Quotes

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

With the economy on the road to recovery and the end of a global financial slump in sight, the need for being insured has never been more pressing. However not many people can afford the same type of insurance.

Deciding on a suitable insurance health package will depend a lot on what you want. Obviously, price will play a significant role in this area, and you should strive to ensure that you do not sacrifice quality service for a few dollars.

It is important to remember that health insurance quotes vary from state to state. There are many reasons for this. One reason is the percentage of health insurance providers that are can be found within a given state. Larger numbers will result in stiffer competitions and lowered prices. Health insurance quotes are also affected by the lifestyle and statistics of the city you’re living in.

That said, comparing the various options available to you will ensure that you get the best results. There are many ways of finding quotes for your health insurance. However, by far the most effective and convenient method is the use of online comparison services. There are many third party websites that support this feature. Price comparison websites provide details regarding the various prices and services available from health insurance companies found within a state.

By comparing the offered features, services and prices and matching those with your needs, you will be able to get the best results on your health insurance search.

An issue which you will want to look into is the various details of the offered policy. Do not be afraid to read the fine print. What is that you stand to gain from the policy? What are the terms involved before a payout? You should also find out conclusively exactly how their payment plan works. Do you get to pay less if you opt for a monthly payment plan or with a quarterly payment option? Generally, most insurance houses offer discounts for long term payments. This is something that will work to your advantage if you can afford it.

Finally, once you have settled on a list of possible insurance providers, you should take some time out and do some research on the companies. The prices might seem fair and the policy outstanding, but what happens in the event of a payout? How well does their customer relation service function? How long does it take for them to respond?

These were some of the features that should play a significant role in your final decision. The job of finding the best insurance providers might have appeared difficult, but by being able to compare health medical insurance quotes, the playing field is leveled significantly in your favor.