With all of the talk about the pending full implementation of federal health care regulations in 2014, health insurance been brought to the forefront of the minds of many Americans. According to 2008 statistics from the CDC, with spending upwards of $2.3 trillion annually on health care, it’s more important than ever that we find the best health insurance rates possible. Doing so requires comparison-shopping in the same way we compare auto, home, and life policies. However, how and where do we compare health insurance?
Entering your zip code below is all it takes to begin your search for online health insurance quotes.
Because of the complex nature of health insurance, it’s not nearly as easy to compare plans as it is with other types of insurance. Nonetheless, if you keep in mind some of the basic factors of health insurance, and exactly what type of coverage you’re after, you can get a good handle on what’s out there. The key is knowing where to start and what to look for.
Can my employer help me?
If you work for a larger company that offers multiple health care options, they may be able to help you compare plans and sort things out. Oftentimes employers who are able to offer multiple options will give you the choice between several HMOs and either a PPO or a major medical policy. It is important when comparing plans that you look at coverage limits for major medical issues, as that is the main purpose for medical insurance to begin with. Additionally, there are some other things to look at depending on your current life situation.
For example, a young family still in the process of having children is going to want to check out the coverage provided for all the costs of having a baby. Individuals with certain chronic conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are going to want to know how specific plans deal with their medical costs. In other words, there’s a lot more to take into consideration when comparing health insurance plans because so much rides on your current life circumstances and health.
Can I compare policies online?
There are several options available when it comes to comparing health insurance plans online. The first option is to use a site which provides a free search tool; a site like this one, in fact. These types of websites have access to the published rates of a long list of health insurance providers, which they can easily access through a computerized database. By entering your zip code, the automated tool is able to narrow down your choices based upon where you live.
The second option is to simply run an Internet search on the term “health insurance.” From there you can visit the websites of individual health plan providers that interest you.
Although this method is a bit longer and more complicated than the first option, it is still possible. If you choose to go this route, it would be a good idea to start by looking at companies in your local area. Since not all health insurance plans are allowed in every state, you could save yourself a lot of wasted research time by going to local companies first.
Where else can I compare health insurance plans?
There are plethoras of government and statistical websites that can be a good help in comparing health insurance plans. You might consider among others:
- The Centers for Disease Control
- The Department of Health and Human Services
- Various nationally known universities with an emphasis on medical care
- Your local chamber of commerce
Sites like these may not give you hard numbers in terms of dollars and cents, but they should be able to give you an overview of what various health insurance companies offer.
What if I can’t afford health insurance?
For those who need health insurance but can’t afford it there are a number of options. According to the Department of Health and Human Services there are a number of federally funded healthcare clinics around the United States for individuals without adequate insurance. There are also programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). These are programs are federally funded but administered at the state level.
If you can’t afford insurance, your health care provider or local Department of Social Services ought to be able to get you the information you need about the health care plans mentioned above. Keep in mind that all of the programs have income eligibility requirements that will have to meet.
If you are one of the unfortunate families that cannot afford health insurance but make too much money to qualify for government programs, you might think about at least considering a limited major medical plan to cover anything big.
Now is the time to begin looking online for health insurance quotes so just enter your zip code below to get started.