You can find consumer reviews of health insurance companies online. There are professional websites that specialize in customer rating of top health insurance companies for businesses including health insurance providers. One of the better-respected consumer ratings websites is JD Powers and Associates.
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Reading consumer comparisons of health insurance providers is a very good thing to do before settling on a health insurance provider. Just because a company has the best rates does not mean they are the best fit for your needs. However, before you get to this point in the process you need to make sure that you completely know what you are looking for in a health insurance policy.
What is a health insurance network?
A health insurance provider’s network is a list of doctors and healthcare institutions that accept that provider’s insurance coverage. There are two kinds of networks PPOs and HMOs. The type of network the policyholder chooses is extremely important because it will not only decide which hospitals and doctors they will be able to go to, but it will also have a great impact on how much they will have to spend on health insurance premiums every month.
A PPO is an open network. The policyholder is allowed to go to any doctor they want and still have coverage. Even though their health insurance provider will contribute to paying for their medical costs no matter which doctor they choose the provider might pay more if the policyholder goes to a doctor that is in the provider’s network.
A health insurance plan with a PPO network costs more in monthly premiums, but most people are willing to pay more to be able to go to the doctor they want. Most of the time a person goes to the same doctor for years, building a trusting relationship, so the idea of having to find a new doctor can be intimidating.
An HMO health insurance network can be viewed as a closed network. The policyholder has no choice, but to choose their doctor from the provider’s list. If they go to a doctor that is not in the provider’s network, their healthcare costs will most likely not be covered. This type of plan does not cost as much in premiums as a PPO so if the policyholder has a tight budget and does not mind having to find a new doctor if his or hers is not in the network this could be a great option for them.
What types of health insurance plans can I choose from?
After deciding on the type of network, someone looking for a new health insurance plan needs to make sure they know what type of health insurance plan they want. Some popular forms of health insurance plans are short-term plans, co-pay plan, and high deductible plans.
The majority of people in the United States that have health insurance receive it from their employer. However, what happens if they lose their job or retire early? What if they have just graduated college or can only find a part time job? In these types of situations, they might consider a short-term health insurance plan to be a great solution. A short-term plan can be purchased by the month or if the policyholder knows exactly how long they will need it, for a specific amount of time.
A short-term plan is designed for people that are currently between long-term health insurance solutions, people in transition. Examples include someone that is currently between jobs, someone that just started a new job and are waiting for their new health insurance plan to start, and someone that retired before they are eligible for Medicare and need coverage until then.
A co-pay health insurance plan lets the policyholder pay small amounts for things like annual checkups and the provider pays the rest. This type of plan covers the majority of the policyholder’s healthcare costs, but usually has higher premiums than other plans.
For policyholders on a tight budget a high deductible health insurance plan might be a better choice. With this plan, the policyholder pays for all of their healthcare costs until their deductible amount is reached. Once the yearly deductible has been paid their insurance pays for all of their costs until the end of the deductible year.
Why are consumer reviews important?
It is very important to known what other consumers are saying about a health insurance provider. If the provider has really low health insurance rates, but is resistant to pay for certain things or is known to be difficult to deal with when filing a claim it might be worth a little more each month in premiums to choose a provider that is easier to get along with.
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