Best Place to Buy Health Insurance
The health insurance industry can be quite confusing for people who have never had contact with it, especially where the employer provides a health plan. However, if you lost your job or decide to start a business on your own, you will need to find a suitable health insurance plan that will cover any unfortunate events. The experts in the field do not recommend letting more than two months pass without any coverage, as developing a medical condition or aggravating a pre-existing one during this period can have a negative impact on the premiums of your future policy.
In fact, the standard practice of insurance companies is to either rule out the coverage for the pre-existing condition from the contract, or to drastically increase the amount of the premiums. Since neither of these situations is pleasant, the best thing to do is to minimize the time you spend without any coverage. However, this does not go to say that you should rush into choosing an insurance plan without a thorough analysis of your options, and without comparing different offers based on the correct criteria. Far from it, since not all insurance plans are the same and especially since not all states regulate these policies in the same manner. But let us look at the choices available.
Choosing between the HMO and the PPO
This is the first decision one needs to take before looking for an insurance policy. The HMO policy, which stands for health insurance organization, restricts your medical care to a certain group of doctors or medical institutions designated by the insurance company. This type of insurance comes with relatively lower monthly premiums, but the treatment restrictions can be quite frustrating in case you happen to need emergency treatment in an area where the medical institution does not have a branch. On the other hand, the PPO policy, meaning preferred provider organization, is flexible regarding the treatment provider, but the monthly premiums are higher. Truth be told, even the companies that offer PPO policies will provide a list of physicians, but using their services is optional.
Premiums, copayments and deductibles
When it comes to the financial issues regarding health insurance, these are the three terms you need to remember. The value of the monthly premium decreases when the person insured agrees to make larger copayments for the treatment, as well as increases the value of the deductibles. However, the decision to increase the value of the copayments and deductibles should be weighted carefully, as the treatment costs can be quite steep in the case of more severe medical conditions. Moreover, people who are looking to purchase an insurance policy with a pre-existing condition will most likely be required to either make high copayments for the treatment of illness, or pay for it in full. Alternatively, high-risk insurance companies simply employ higher premiums in order to cover the liability costs.
Coverage and care
There are several aspects that you should take into account in this category. As mentioned before, no two insurance plans are the same, thus the buyer should only make a choice after a thorough analysis of the contract. Furthermore, in order to determine potential illnesses and pre-existing conditions that should be covered by the insurance policy, several companies will require a complete medical check-up. This is advisable, as you need to ensure that you are actually covered for the most likely situations. When reading the contract, you need to check how many visits to the E.R. are covered, how many times you can visit a physician per month and whether the medication is part of the coverage. These are all key aspects, since even though the cost of the premiums may be low, these restrictions often mean having to pay out of pocket medical expenses.
Shopping for insurance
Nowadays, there are several online portals that can help you compare the insurance offers in your state. You no longer have to waste time visiting the office branches of several companies just to get a basic idea regarding their price range and coverage. However, bear in mind that the quotes are merely a general approximation of the sum, and the insurance companies will take a lot more factors into account when establishing the value of the premium.