Health Insurance Quotes and Plans – How to Make Comparisons
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. 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 of all, 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. 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 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. Clearly, this is among the biggest reasons you need to compare health insurance quotes before deciding on a particular plan.
Review all potential out-of-pocket costs.
Although different types of preventive care are must now be fully covered at no cost to you, under health reform, you may have to take on copayments, coinsurance (a portion of the total costs) and a deductible for the rest of the services.
Know your doctors and hospitals.
Start your research with independent nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), which certifies and accredits hospitals and health care programs. Their website will tell you whether a medical practice or hospital has received the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. Everything else being equal, you just want a health plan with a reputable hospital within your area.
Consider 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. When you compare health insurance quotes, don’t forget to see if your prescription drugs are covered in 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. 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.