The easiest way to compare health insurance for individuals is using online comparison websites such as this one. Instead of having to manually find all the health insurance companies in a phone book, you can enter your information once to receive rates from all of the leading online health insurance companies. Although it may seem like finding health insurance online may be a scam, there are many reputable companies from which to choose. Many of the major health insurance providers also offer their services through an online website, as well.
What factors are important when comparing health insurance for individuals?
You should consider two main things when you are comparing health insurance policies – the first is your budget since this will largely determine what kind of coverage you can afford to take on. However, WebMD says that your individual health insurance needs are also equally important as the amount of money you can spend.
For instance, while a FFS (fee-for-service) health insurance plan may initially look like a cheaper alternative than say, a high deductible plan, you may actually end up paying more for the FFS coverage depending on how often you go to the doctor, purchase medications, or require hospitalization. On the other hand, if you don’t have a need for monthly prescriptions and you are in general good health, then you may benefit from the lower fees of a FFS plan.
In general, you should consider the following before you purchase an individual health insurance plan:
- The frequency at which you fill prescription medications
- How often you need to see a doctor, and if you require the services of a specialist
- Your preexisting conditions and potential health risks, like cancer and diabetes
- Your ability to afford a higher deductible
If you are under the age of 64, then you may be eligible to open up a health savings account, otherwise known as an HSA. Although you will be required to purchase a high deductible policy before you can open an HSA, you will not be taxed for the money you use on medical expenses, and all of the money that is put in your HSA is tax deductible at the end of the year.
What does the insurance company look at before quoting health insurance for individuals?
Before a health insurance company can give you an idea of how much they will charge you for coverage, they will need to gather some information about your medical history. For instance, most insurance companies need to know when your last doctor visit was, how often you require hospital stays, the types of medications you take, and any health risks that run in your family – like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Although it may seem tempting to omit certain pieces of information, you will find a plan that is better suited for your situation by telling the truth about your health.
Are there are discounts that apply to health insurance for individuals?
The discounts that are available to you will be dependent on the type of health insurance you purchase, your needs and the company in which you choose to purchase the coverage. However, generally speaking, you should be able to find at least a discount or two that applies to your situation.
Here are a few of the different types of discounts that may apply to your health insurance plan:
- Multi-policy discount
- Tobacco-free discount
- Student discount
It is very important to do your research when you are looking for health insurance discounts – sometimes, the “discount” actually ends up costing you more money in the end. Additionally, there are also some discount plans that are actually not insurance at all – they are just a program that you pay a fee to participate in that allows you the ability to use a discount card on certain medical expenses, like eye exams and dental work.
One of the most popular types of discount programs is for prescription discounts. If you decide to pay for a discount program, you will still need to make sure you have a health insurance policy in place because the discount program is not a substitute for coverage.