How to Compare Health Insurance Quotes and Plans
Among the best – if not the best- steps you can take prior to buying a health insurance plan, is asking for a number of quotes from a number of companies and compare them with one another. But first, you need to understand the usually confusing insurance-speak about networks, copays, deductibles and the others.
So what do you have to think about when you compare health insurance quotes?
Decide 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 plan to continue your relationship your present doctor, ask what insurance plans he or she will participate in for the coming plan year. Networks are now getting smaller; what a network was two years ago may not be the same network it is 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. You must meet the deductible first before coverage for various types of services can begin. This is clearly one of the most crucial reasons you should compare health insurance quotes before buying any plan.
Consider all possible 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.
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. Their website will let you determine whether a hospital or medical practice has been awarded 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.
When ranking health insurance plans at the state level, Consumer Reports’ website uses the committee’s data on customer satisfaction, preventive services and treatment as basis. When you compare health insurance quotes, be sure to check if your prescription drugs are covered by the plan.
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. Look at the general picture instead of focusing on the basic price tag. It may require a little more time from you, but yes, you need to compare health insurance quotes if you want to be wise about your purchase.