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What do I need to know before buying health insurance?

notebook and smartphone researching health insuranceKnowing what your health needs are before purchasing or adding health insurance is crucial. With the cost of medical services and care skyrocketing so are policy plans. Researching and finding out what are the absolute musts in health insurance policies these days and any individual needs is helpful before settling on a plan.

To start searching and comparing, you can find health insurance quotes by accessing this website. Simply put in your zip code and start searching.

This will be helpful with finding and viewing different insurance providers and health insurance rates so that you can find the one that meets your needs.

An article by the New York Times, suggests that it’s not only important to find an affordable plan, but to first consider what services you will need or what are most important for you to have coverage on.

What are some types of health insurance coverage?

Most full time employees can get coverage through their employers. The group plans are specifically designed to be cost effective (cheaper) and the employers tend to cover much of the costs.

There are three types of coverage that are most common:

  • PPOs
  • HDHP
  • HMOs

PPOs are preferred provider organizations. These were built in response to frustrated consumers who had limitations on their HMOs (health maintenance organizations). What this does is to let you choose providers who are in your network.

However, if you need a specific provider and they’re out of your network you can still receive help from the health insurance plan. They’ll usually cover anywhere between 60 to 80 percent of the total cost in reimbursements.

A good thing about the PPOs is that they’re a little more flexible than the traditional HMOs; however, it can be hard to tell how much your out-of-pocket expenses will be with out of network services.

HMOs (health maintenance organizations) are very common. They are very comprehensive as far as coverage and are usually low cost. Co-pays and deductibles are usually covered for basic care, however, your choice of professionals and services may be limited.

So while you’ll have lower costs in terms of co-pays and deductibles and your services are coordinated into a network there are still some downfalls. Choices of providers are very limited and if you have to receive services from a specialist chances are you won’t be reimbursed a dime.

Lastly, there are the options of HDHP, which are high-deductible health plans. These plans are usually linked to a savings account specifically for health care or some type of reimbursement account.

HDHP plans are similar to PPOs; however, the deductibles are higher. To compensate for this the savings account will allow a policyholder to put away pretax dollars and draw that money out when needed.

There’s also the reimbursement account and this is usually financed by the employer and the employer alone. What happens with this is that employers will contribute an amount that is about half the employee’s deductible. Every year the money will roll over if not used, but the kicker is you can’t take the money if you leave the company.

How do you know which coverage of health insurance to go with?

An easy way to start is by asking your current or favorite doctors what they’ll accept for insurance. If they only accept certain plans that eliminates the guesswork with some of the choices.

Knowing what services you and your family use or will potentially need is helpful. With that information, you can research which plan will be most beneficial and cost effective for your health services needs.

With some initial research, you can move forward with comparing costs of one plan versus the other. Make sure to consider everything:

  • Premiums
  • Potential out of network costs
  • Anything that would be additional, such as vision or chiropractic care

What are some essentials when comparing health insurance policy costs?

Keep yourself organized as you’re comparing health insurance policies. Make sure you have a comprehensive list of what you need in a policy and another list of what you want. Being able to draw from a list and find ways to be flexible will take the stress out of the decision.

According to MoneyCentral MSN, zeroing in on certain questions can be beneficial for those shopping around. Knowing if you can get coverage, what is an affordable premium for you and your family and finding if you can get the coverage you need are some key questions when doing research online.

There are several online resources to help you compare different health insurance coverage or even different health insurance. To research health insurance rates online you can visit this website, provide your zip code, and start comparing different health insurance companies.