Yes! The health insurance industry is finally coming of age. It has join other kinds of insurance carriers in providing fast, efficient, and informative ways for consumers to investigate, purchase, and manage their health insurance policies. All this, without ever needing to leave the comfort of their homes.
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According to recent studies conducted by the Nielsen marketing company, 80% of the American public, or more, have computers in their homes while a whopping 92% have access to the Internet. Nielsen adds that these numbers are rapidly growing.
Free Internet service is readily available in most communities and for those consumers who might not have their own computer, libraries, schools and community colleges as well as other facilities offer computer and Internet services free to the public.
But can’t I just go the insurance company’s offices for information?
Internet shopping saves time and money. To visit an insurance office in person, a consumer must use their personal automobile or spend time and money on public transportation. Waiting rooms can be crowded and lines long at information or service counters. Even phoning a local office can be time consuming and not every customer service representative has all the answers.
Who advertises on line?
Everybody! As the vast majority of Americans now have computers and Internet access, most insurance groups have websites. Most of these sites are interactive, professionally designed to provide consumers with easy access to all the information necessary to make sound choices when selecting health insurance.
Private insurance companies aren’t the only ones with sophisticated websites advertising their products. State and local governments also maintain up-to-date websites aimed at helping consumers find information and efficiently navigate through available government resources.
The Internet provides access to millions of Americans who don’t live close to an office, may not have ready access to transportation, or may be ill or physically challenged. Convenience alone is a major reason for shopping for health insurance on line.
What are other benefits of shopping for health insurance on line?
All the information you need is in one convenient place! The Internet allows for effortless comparison-shopping! Two, three, four, or even more companies can be researched at the very same time! Try doing that kind of shopping using public transportation!
In addition to educational materials and other information, most insurance websites provide handy calculators and other tools for determining, which insurance programs best suit a family’s needs and budget.
Another benefit is that all of the information seen on line may be downloaded to review later or printed to create a permanent record. This includes application forms, lists of covered services and other detailed policy information.
So I’ve shopped and researched, now what do I do?
Once you’ve selected insurance coverage that’s right for you and your family, you can usually complete and submit an application on the company’s website. Once your policy is in force, you can set up an account, file claims, and manage your new health insurance policy online.
Can I save money by shopping online?
Advertising on line allows insurance companies to inexpensively reach the greatest number of consumers. As the companies are able to trim their administrative and marketing costs, they are able to pass on these savings to consumers in the form of reduced insurance premiums.
Are online companies reputable?
The answer to this question is the same as any question regarding the sound business practices and reputation of any company. An informed consumer should deal with companies that are known by them or referred to them by trustworthy friends or other associates.
Where can I check into a company?
There are many organizations who maintain records of concerns or complaints filed against business enterprises as well as groups who rate or survey companies, and publish their results. Organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, or public service groups such as Consumer Watchdog, provide consumers with up-to-date information.
The insurance industry has its own monitoring groups such as the NAIC or National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The government, both on a state and national level, heavily regulates health insurance companies. Records of state sponsored investigations can generally be found online through search engines such as Google.
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