What You Should Know Before Changing Health Insurance Companies
Health insurance can be a complicated subject. Before changing insurance companies you should know a few things to make sure you do not end up paying more money for less coverage. There are many reasons you may want to change companies. Identifying these reasons will allow you to find a company that better suits your needs.
If you are in the market for a new health insurance company try putting your ZIP code into the FREE search tool. It allows you to easily find and compare health insurance quotes!
After you understand what you want from a company, you should use comparison shopping techniques to find the right policy. This will help make sure you are getting the best coverage and price for you and your family.
Common Reasons Why People Switch Health Insurance Companies
When people start thinking about switching their health insurance company the reasons are usually the same. Health insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make. The Affordable Care Act will actually require people without health insurance to pay a penalty starting in 2014. For this reason you want to make sure you have a health insurance company you trust.
The number one reason people consider changing companies is price. Premium costs rose 20% in 2010 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Many people hope to find more affordable care if they switch companies.
Coverage is another big reason people want to change health insurance companies. Policies do not change. The coverage you bought on day one will be the same coverage you have five years later, but your needs might not be.
Another reason people change health insurance companies is because they are unhappy with the company. Maybe you have had disputes with them over claims or have had trouble getting policy questions answered. If you are unhappy with the service you receive from your current health insurance company, switching may be a better option.
Before Switching Health Insurance Companies
Now that you have identified your motive behind switching health insurance companies you need to see if there are any pitfalls that may affect you. These pitfalls could end up costing you later. Identifying potential problems can also save you time when you start comparing policies.
It can be hard to find health insurance for people with preexisting conditions causing major problems when looking for a new health insurance policy. Many people mistakenly believe if they have insurance now they will not be subject to these clauses.
Health insurance companies can look back five to ten years for lapses in coverage. If they find one, any conditions diagnosed before the lapse are considered pre-existing. A lapse in coverage is defined as any time when you were without health insurance for more than 63 days.
Children are exempt from preexisting condition clauses. This means a health insurance company cannot deny coverage or include exclusions for children on your policy regardless of prior coverage or health.
Another consideration is whether or not you will have to change doctors. Managed care plans rely on a network of providers and if your doctor is not on their network they may not cover you when you go to that doctor. This means you will have to find a new doctor that is on their plan or accepts your new insurance.
You also need to know if a company is licensed to sell policies in your state, how long they have been in business, and if they have received complaints from other consumers. Your state’s Department of Insurance can provide you with this information; so can websites like the Better Business Bureau.
How to Compare Health Insurance Policies
The final step before switching your health insurance company is to compare your old policy and the new policies available. If price and coverage are big reasons for your motivation to switch companies you want to make sure the new policy does not fall short. Weigh your health insurance options carefully!
Premiums are not the only cost involved with a health insurance policy. Most policies will require you also pay some amount of out of pocket costs for care received. You may have co-payments, deductibles, or both. A lower premiums and higher health insurance deductible may not calculate, you will have to compare the costs with the amount of times you see the doctor every year.
You need to compare coverage as well. If the new policy does not offer the same level of care needed you will end up paying for treatments not covered. If you are looking for more coverage or specialty coverage which your existing policy does not have the cost may be higher. You will need to weigh the benefit of coverage with the new cost and how much the treatment or care would cost with no coverage.
Health insurance rates can be obtained using the FREE search tool- just enter your ZIP code!