Applying for health insurance?

There are so many insurance companies, it's a challenge to find the right one. Every insurance agent you'll speak to will probably have the "best" insurance plan for you. Before getting snared by sales pitches, investigate what's best for you.

Deductibles

Typically, each company has a plethora of plans and options. Don't rush through them without looking forward. Spend a few minutes to think about your financial situation, your health needs, and health history (including family history).  These are critical to affording future healthcare costs. Can you afford the deductible if money gets tight? If money does get tight, you don't want your health to be unprotected. Do you have alternatives if the unthinkable happens, such as savings for monetary support or family and friends for mental and spiritual support?

Acceptability

Who accepts the insurance plan? Is the plan from a regional company? State? National? It's always easier to talk to someone in person, but make sure that the company has a local or state office. Sales representatives don't always stick around. If you have to call a toll free number and speak to someone in Nevada when your claim is in Florida, then it can be very frustrating. 

If you already have a regular doctor, then be sure to check with them to see if the new insurance plan is accepted. Vision? Dental? Check with the health care provider, even if the insurance representative says they accept it. Misinformation is a migraine waiting to happen--or worse: a health or financial loss.

Be careful of plans that offer too many discounts programs that are outside the scope of health insurance. This is a tell-tale sign that they might be a conglomerate company, which offers coupons and discounts in order to sweeten the deal. A health insurance company that deals exclusively with health insurance is usually a company dedicated to health insurance--not coupons.

Prescriptions

As before, keep in mind the details of your family history. High blood pressure or other conditions are inheritable traits--whether genetic or behavioral. Each condition unique to your family may produce the need for expensive medications. How much does each plan cover? Do you need the coverage now? Can you include additional plans later?

If the only plan available (perhaps the only affordable plan) is limited on prescription drugs, look into prescription discount plans. In many cases, pharmaceutical companies offer discount plans. Also, call your local pharmacies as you did with your doctors to verify acceptability. Ask for price quotes to find the cheapest pharmacy and if they offer discount programs.

Affordability

Look at the basic plans. Does it include hospitalization? Go through the details of emergency hospitalization, as this is of critical importance to most people. Accidents do happen, and for many Americans, they are life-altering. Look into insurance companies that you are considering. Do they help their clients when tragic events occur? Better Business Bureau is a great resource for these questions.

Before adding options and extra coverage, how much do you spend on things like dental or vision? I go to the dentist every six months. However, my friend goes only when she has a problem. My dental costs over the past 5 years have been more than $1200, while my friend has spent nothing.

Does the plan take into consideration unemployment? If you lose your job, do they offer a low-cost program until you get back on your feet?

Apr. 23 12'

I agree with this article and it does raise a lot of questions? Questions that if you are getting insurance you really should worry about. Always there is now a hold on narcotics and which ones that your insurances will cover. A lot of insurances are putting you on "hold" as they say to determine if you really need this med or not. So when searching to see if† the insurance is for you make sure you look for your medicine. To see if they will cover it or if they have the generic of it that will save you money. Because if they don't have the generic then you will have to make sure you can cover the price of medicine. Like what was said in the article always remember can I do this is money gets tight?

Remember to take your all of your health in care when looking in health insurance. You might not be sick now, but what happens if you get sick? Do they cover cancer treatment? Do they cover out of network doctors for a sickness that there coverage doctor does not cover? Or will you have to pay out of pocket, because that can be very expensive. When my grandfather got sick and developed cancer because of the stage that it was in when they found it, they would not cover him. So my grandparents had to have three different insurances to pay for the cost and a lot of the hospital stays were not paid for. Thats another thing you want to look into how much is your deductible if you have to stay in the hospital? Will they cover the whole time or are you responsible after so many days. Some insurances will cover the first three days and then you have to submit the rest and see if they cover it.

I guess the moral of the story here is you always want to look into it very careful. Make sure you read the fine print. Look to see if it fits your needs and as you get older will it still work. Also if you have any questions make sure you ask first before jumping right in and signing up. Its all best to ask first and not have to be surprised later.
Apr. 24 12'

Carlaneil2012

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