Insurance News Today - January 18, 2007
Unless you want to pay money for your medical treatment out of your pocket, you've got to buy a health insurance policy. There are lots of health insurance options out there and for many people it may be a little bit complicated to make a decision. Everyone wants to get health insurance at the cheapest possible price, provided that the policy a person gets meets all his or her medical needs. But keep in mind that cheap insurance plan isn't always the best one. Most likely, you may need to compare different options and take into consideration various variables, before you opt for a certain type of coverage. So, let's take a look at some key points of this topic.
The first thing you should do is to estimate your specific health insurance needs. You may want to get insurance not only for yourself, but also for your family members. Some of them may be in a good health condition, while others may need specific medical services. You have to take into consideration these and other circumstances, before selecting a health insurance plan. But once you have figured out your all the details, you are on the right way.
Once you have determined your insurance requirements, you've got to decide which insurance plan is the most suitable for you. There are numerous types of coverage, both individual and group insurance plans. And it is hardly possible to describe all of them, but we'll try to go through the main points, so you won't overlook something in the future.
The cheapest possible coverage is a catastrophic insurance plan. As the name implies, this plan covers you in case something unprecedented happens to you, like you get injured in a car accident or you suddenly discovered yourself to have cancer. In any other, non-catastrophic case you have to fork out your own money for a visit to a doctor. So, if you are healthy, young and confident in your organism, this plan is right for you. Otherwise, you have to think about more expensive insurance plans.
There are two basic plans: a Managed Care Insurance Plan and an Indemnity Plan. The first one has several variants and it is less flexible. If you choose it then you are restricted with a specific network of doctors and hospitals. The good point is that this type of coverage is less expensive and for many people it is a fair trade-off. But if you visit a doctor elsewhere then you have to pay for the visit on your own.
The second type of insurance plan - an Indemnity Plan is more flexible and gives you more freedom when choosing a doctor. With this plan you are not limited to a specific network of doctors and you are able to go wherever you want, but you have to pay more for the freedom and your monthly premiums will be higher.
It is entirely up to you which type of insurance plan to choose. Do you want to pay less for your insurance or you need more flexibility? You have to answer this question. But do not make decision in a hurry. Ask for advice your family members and discuss the issue before taking further steps.
There are some ways to reduce your insurance costs. One of them is a group insurance plan, which is usually offered through employers to employees. With this type of insurance your insurance expenses will be partially paid by your employer. In addition, insurance companies make discounts for group plans as the risks are distributed among the group members. This option may be a good deal for you from the financial point of view, although the coverage you get may not be as comprehensive as you would wish. But you can always fix it and buy add-ons later.
Another way to reduce the price of an insurance policy is to include your spouse, or maybe other family members, into your policy, especially if it is a group insurance plan. With this scheme you will be able to save more money.
Once you have determined what type of insurance policy you need, you've got to choose an insurance company to deal with. And this can be a tricky thing, because there are many health insurance carriers out there. There is a wide spectrum of companies - from established insurance leaders to newly born companies. Don't get confused, use some proved methods to figure out, which company is perfect for you. Use the Internet; spend a few hours to compare several companies. Ask your relatives and friends about their experience with a particular insurer. Approach insurance brokers, they will help you greatly. Call the customer service of the insurer and try to find out about their company as much as it is possible. You have to make a comprehensive research of the insurance market to find the right insurer for you. Otherwise, you risk paying extra money for nothing.