Comparing Health Insurance Quotes and Plans
One of the wisest – if not the wisest – steps you can take before buying a health insurance plan, is to ask for several quotes from different companies and compare them. But first, you need to understand the usually confusing insurance-speak about networks, copays, deductibles and the others.
So what exactly should you consider when as you compare health insurance quotes?
Decide what’s important to you.
First and foremost, 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 becoming smaller; a network two years ago will not be the same today. When you compare health insurance quotes, always take this into account.
Look beyond 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. 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.
Go through all possible out-of-pocket expenses.
Though several types of preventive care must now be fully covered at zero cost to you, under health reform, you may have to pay copayments and coinsurance, as well as a deductible for other services.
Research doctors and hospitals.
Check with the The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), an independent nonprofit organization that provides accreditation and certification to hospitals and health care programs. 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.
You can also check with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, another nonprofit 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. Remember to check if the plan includes your prescription drugs as you compare health insurance quotes.
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. Try to appreciate the whole picture and not just the numbers involved. 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.