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Where can I get health insurance?

diverse group of people health insuranceYou can purchase health insurance from whichever source is most convenient for you. For instance, you can purchase health insurance from your employer, privately online, through an agency or broker, or directly from the insurance company. Government agencies can also provide insurance coverage if you qualify.

Compare health insurance rates online by entering your zip code into the toolbox now!

How can I purchase health insurance from my employer?

Many employers offer health insurance to their full time employees and sometimes to their part time employees who work a minimum amount of hours. Often there is a waiting period before the employee can enroll in the company’s insurance plan. The health insurance policies and costs vary depending on the employer. It is best to always ask about benefits when interviewing for a job, so that if you need to purchase a temporary health plan while you are waiting for your benefits to kick in, you can do so.

Another option is to enroll in COBRA from your previous employer if you were already receiving benefits from that job. This will continue your prior coverage until your new benefits start. You can find out more about COBRA at their website, or call your current insurance company prior to taking your new job.

How can I purchase private health insurance?

You have a few different options when purchasing private health insurance. You can purchase private health insurance online, through an agency or broker, or directly from an insurance company.

When you purchase private health insurance online, you can do a search of all of the health insurance companies to determine who has the best plan for your budget and needs. You can also go through an online agency or broker who contracts with many different health insurance companies to obtain multiple quotes from one website. You can do that now by entering your zip code into the toolbox below.

Other options include calling an insurance agency or insurance broker. An insurance agency is either going to represent one insurance brand or be able to sell insurance for multiple agencies. Again, you should receive a minimum of three different plans to figure out which policy is best for you and your family.

You can call an insurance broker, and they will do the busy work for you finding all the plans that best fit your needs. Then they will sit down with you and review the plans. Every year after that, they will review your insurance needs and determine if the plan works for you or if you need to find a new one.

Understand that all insurance agents or brokers that are selling multiple products receive a commission on what they sell. Often times you may be able to find a less expensive policy on your own, because you are not paying anyone to do the research for you.

Some insurance companies even have “storefronts” where you can walk in, sit down, and have the agent run some figures for you. This may be more convenient for individuals who do not want to obtain quotes online.

How can I find out if I qualify for government-sponsored health insurance?

You can find out if you qualify for government-sponsored health insurance by reviewing the information at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website explains the requirements for qualifying for government sponsored health insurance. For instance, Medicaid is only for individuals and families with low income.

Each state, with the federal government’s approval, stipulates the highest amount of income permissible for Medicaid plans. You can review the financial eligibility requirements on the government’s benefits website.

How can I be sure I am getting the best coverage?

You should always compare like products with like products to determine you are getting the best coverage. I would also recommend using an insurance calculator to figure out what you can afford on a monthly and yearly basis. Online insurance calculators are available at sites like Money-Zine.

Take the time to research the insurance company. Go to sites like A.M. Best  to read the financial ratings and financial outlook on the insurance companies you are reviewing. Perform searches on the Internet to read customer reviews. You can also read customer complaints and resolutions on sites like the Better Business Bureau.

Once you have done your research, you can compare online health insurance companies’ rates by entering your zip code now!