12 Steps to a Good Deal on Health Insurance
Want to buy health insurance, but don’t know how to get a good deal, or even where to start? This article will get you started buying your health insurance, and help you from start to finish through a process designed to ensure that you know all your options and can get the best deal.
You’ll need to work with an agent - who is ultimately responsible for helping you to buy the best health insurance policy. You should check with professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and of course your health insurance agent when buying health insurance. You can find a reputable agent through national organizations and check the status of the agent with your state using the links at www.BestHealthInsuranceBook.com/Resources/Find-a-Health-Insurance-Agent.html.
1. Learn and understand health insurance basics.
There are plenty of health insurance terms, but only a few are essential when you are buying health insurance. If you know the essential health insurance terms, then you’ll know what to tell the agent when you are asked “What kind of deductible are you comfortable with?”
2. Determine options on where to get health insurance - at work, on your own, through an association, and so on.
In the last century, health insurance became a staple benefit of the american workplace. But that is changing as companies are finding that people want to choose their benefits separately from their workplace. And smaller companies have never been big on offering health insurance.
You can get health insurance at work, through a spouse, buy it directly from an insurer through an agent, or get it from an association. If you are buying it and you have a small business, there are options for covering yourself, your family, and your employees through a small business plan.
You’ll find the most affordable option by comparing the costs of insurance from the options available to you. Not everyone has the same options available, nor the same medical status.
3. Determine features important to you.
Everyone has a different expectation from health insurance in terms of the features and how much they cost. You’ll need to look at features available from health insurers in your state and determine which ones are important to you.
4. Estimate your anticipated annual expenses.
Predicting your health expenditures is not an exact science, but it can be helpful to get an idea of what you’ve spent and then project that into the future.
5. Decide if you should pursue group health insurance or individual health insurance.
Group insurance is sold to groups, individual insurance is sold to individuals.
6. Obtain a list of health insurers for your state.
Each health insurer must be licensed by the state to sell health insurance in the state. Find your state department of insurance contact information and links to lists of insurers at www.BestHealthInsuranceBook.com/State-Health-Insurance-Resources/.
7. Edit your list of insurers.
You'll want to look at the complaint ratios for each insurer. their financial ratings, the news, and the number of people insured by the company.
8. Get quotes from each insurer or source of health insurance.
You can proceed to accumulate quotes and options from these insurers. This is where the most legwork is involved, as you gather information from each company, either directly from an insurer or through an agent. You can also get quotes on the internet. Go to www.besthealthinsurancebook.com/Resources/Health-Insurance-Quotes.html for quote resources.
9. Compare quotes.
Except for a few states where they have strict model plans, you’ll be comparing health insurance plans that have different options. You can use a spreadsheet to make the work easier, and plug in all the quotes that you’ve received to determine how your health spending will work with each plan, and what your total cost will be in a year for the insurance and any medical expenses.
10. Choose your best deal.
You’ll want to determine which are your best choices. Make sure that you’ll be able to sleep at night with the choices you make.
11. Apply for insurance.
If you’ve decided to get your health insurance at work, you may have only a few questions to answer. If you buy your own insurance then you may have several pages to fill out.
12. Cancel existing insurance.
Make sure that you don’t cancel your insurance too soon. If there is any problem with your policy, you may not be able to get your existing insurance back. This would leave you uninsured.
These twelve steps are easy enough to follow and are comprehensive. You’ll know that you’ve exhausted your options by following this process. You’ll also know that your choice is the best deal for you. More detailed information on these steps along with how to avoid ripoffs is available in the book Get a Good Deal on Your Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped-Off that can be ordered from your favorite book retailer, website, or www.BestHealthInsuranceBook.com. Get answers to your questions about buying health insurance at www.BestHealthInsuranceBook.com/Answers/.
Jonathan Pletzke is a writer and entrepreneur in Chapel Hill, NC. He authored Get a Good Deal on Your Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped-Off (ISBN: 978-0-9794781-0-9) as a result of his own experience buying health insurance. He found that it was hard to find comprehensive advice about buying something as important as health insurance and wanted to help people to get the most from their health insurance and feel that they are in control of the buying process. Please contact him via his website.