There are several ways people get health insurance, but if you need purchase private health insurance finding quotes is pretty easy. There are websites and companies dedicated to helping you find the right health insurance policy. The best option for finding an insurance quote will depend on which option you feel most comfortable.
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There are two types of health insurance comparison websites available. One sells insurance products directly. The other type is websites that offer comparisons of several different insurance companies and policies.
Other options include health insurance agents and brokers. Both of them allow you to sit down with a live person to discuss health insurance needs and buy a policy. Your health insurance broker will not work the same way as an agent. Make sure you understand what they do and how they work before choosing one.
Should I buy private health insurance online?
While you want to buy insurance from a reputable company how you go about finding them is up to you. Sometimes people know exactly what company they want to use. They may have used them in the past or have been recommended by a family member or friend. If this is the case you can go directly to that company and purchase a plan.
If you are like most people you are not sure what type of policy you want or company to purchase from. In this case you might be better served using a comparison site. A health insurance comparison saves money. These websites take your basic information and compile quotes from several participating companies.
Different websites may offer different health insurance companies to look at. This is because a company must choose to be featured on a particular website.
The comparison sites also only take basic information for a quote. Once you choose a policy you like you will be redirected to the health insurance company’s website.
Shopping for insurance on a comparison website is not a good idea if you do not understand what you need. You will also need to understand how to compare policies and costs.
How do I compare private health insurance quotes?
When you are searching for private health insurance online there are a few tips to make it easier. Preparation will not only save you time but money as well. Choosing the wrong policy can be a costly mistake. You will waste money on premiums and possibly services that are not covered.
The first tip recommended by U.S News is to make a list of coverage you must have. Spend some time researching basic terminology so you know what to look for. The National Health Insurance Underwriters offers a great glossary of common terms.
Things to think about on this list are not only services you need now but services you may need in the near future. Consider if you are willing to switch doctors or does your current provider accept that company. See if they will cover your dependents.
Cost comparison is also important. Premiums can often be misleading. They are only part of the picture. The California Department of Insurance offers a great cost comparison tool. You can use it no matter what state you are in and it is free to download.
Can an agent or broker help me?
Agents and brokers are also great options for finding the best private health insurance policy. They can not only give you multiple quotes but help you assess your needs and explain the different coverage options available. When choosing one make sure they are licensed by your state.
The California Department of Insurance explains that agents serve as a go between for the customer and the insurance company they work for. A broker works independently for the customer and can access several different companies.
Another big difference between the two is how they are paid. Agents work for a specific insurance company and receive their pay or commission from them.
Brokers charge a fee for their services. This fee will be collected from you up front. They may also receive a commission from the company you chose to buy a policy from.
While brokers can receive a commission they are ethically bonded to serve the customer. They cannot sell you a policy you do not need or upsell supplemental products just to boost their commission. Your state’s Department of Insurance or licensing board can provide you with a list of brokers in your area.
Put your ZIP code into the FREE search tool to find health insurance in your area!