Personal health insurance companies, or individual health insurance companies, offer a range of options to potential clients. There are many outlets to use when searching for the right personal health insurance including online websites and local health insurance agents. It’s important to do a health insurance comparison before signing with one health insurance provider.
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According to the Insurance Information Institute it’s important to understand what your choices in health insurance coverage should be before purchasing. There are certain questions you should consider beforehand and use as a basis for researching different health insurance companies.
What should I consider before buying personal health insurance?
In today’s economy, finding affordable health insurance is essential. Knowing how much you can afford and how much most personal health insurance plans cost is crucial when considering an insurance company. Some expenses are upfront and straightforward and others are not.
Monthly premiums are the total amounts you must pay up front for your health insurance. These rates are fairly straightforward. Depending on the insurance policy they shouldn’t change the rates without at least notifying you first.
Deductibles, copayments and coinsurance are other out of pocket expenses that the customer must pay alongside their monthly premium. These can vary depending on the plan and how much medical expenses you incur. Knowing how much you can afford to pay for these out of pocket expenses is essential.
It’s also important to know what services each insurance plan will cover when considering an individual health insurance company. Many times a policy will only cover certain preferred medical providers and facilities in their plans, or will only cover certain treatments and prescriptions as well.
Do you have a health care provider you are satisfied with and do not want to change? You may need to be picking when choosing a policy; check with your doctor to see what health insurance companies list him as a provider.
What are some of the different types of health insurance plans?
Managed care is popular among health insurance plans. These are plans that hold contracts with medical providers in order to utilize discounted rates for customers. There are three types of plans that utilize this: POS, PPO and HMO plans as described here:
- Point of Service (POS) plans allow you to use a medical specialist outside of your preferred network without paying for everything out of pocket. POS have similarities to both HMO and PPO plans and tend to be more flexible.
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO health insurance) plans are those insurance plans that have contracted independent providers that will offer deals to insurance companies so they will not have to pay full price for medical services. There are some PPO plans that will allow customers to seek treatment outside of their network of preferred specialist, but at a much higher cost.
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO health insurance) plans are prepaid plans that utilize monthly premiums. HMOs have a comprehensive network of providers where customers can utilize these preferred providers without the extra fees. However, they do not cover those expenses incurred by patients using providers outside of their network.
How do I know if a personal health insurance company is legitimate?
There are several ways to find legitimate health insurance companies and to avoid those who try to scam you. It’s important to check those insurance companies you are considering before signing a contract.
- A.M. Best provides consumers with qualitative and quantitative information on insurance company’s financial outlook and financial stability. They give those companies ratings from F to A++. When considering an insurance company it’s important to choose a company that receives at least a grade of B+ and those that have the highest grade of A++ are probably the most stable to sign with.
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can also give you informative information on a company’s stability and their customer service. Many people who are unhappy with a company and their customer service will report them to the BBB; this makes the BBB a great resource to utilize when considering a health insurance company.
There are several other rating websites that provide consumers with informative information and some even provide feedback from customers. Researching these websites will make the search for personal health insurance companies that much easier and worry free.
To start your research for the best health insurance rates include your zip code on this webpage and find the best rate to fit your individual needs!