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Comparing Health Insurance Quotes and Plans

One of the wisest – if not the wisest – steps you can take before buying a health insurance plan, is to ask for several quotes from different companies and compare them. However, you must first cut through the typically confusing insurance-talk about coinsurance, networks, deductibles, and all the rest.

So what exactly should you consider when as you compare health insurance quotes?

Know your priorities.

First and foremost, make a list of the things that are important for you to have in a health plan. If you intend to continue the relationship you currently have with e a certain doctor, ask which insurance plans he or she is going to participate in during the approaching plan year. Networks are now getting smaller; what a network was two years ago may not be the same network it is now. As you compare health insurance quotes, remember to take this into account.

Don’t just focus on the premium.

A low premium can really be attractive , but you need to know that a plan with a small premium can have a big deductible, which means you may be responsible for a large portion of your own medical bills with each passing year. You must meet the deductible first before coverage for various types of services can begin. Obviously, this is one of the most important reasons it’s important to compare health insurance quotes before purchasing a certain plan.

Consider all possible out-of-pocket costs.

Even if a lot of preventive care types should be fully covered now at no cost to you, health reform dictates that you may possibly have to pay copayments, coinsurance (a part of the total costs) and a deductible for the other services.

Get to know your doctors and hospitals.

Start your research with independent nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), which certifies and accredits hospitals and health care programs. Their website will let you determine whether a hospital or medical practice has been awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. In the end, you want a health plan, everything else being equal, with a very high-quality hospital in your vicinity.

Consider prescription drugs.

Also check with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, another nonprofit organization evaluating the quality of medical practices.
When ranking health insurance plans at the state level, Consumer Reports’ website uses the committee’s data on customer satisfaction, preventive services and treatment as basis. Remember to check if the plan includes your prescription drugs as you compare health insurance quotes.

Shop around!

Though it may seem easy to simply renew any plan you presently have, you need to review any other, possibly newer options available to you, whether through your employer or privately. Try to appreciate the whole picture and not just the numbers involved. It may take a little more time, but yes, it is a must to compare health insurance quotes before deciding which plan to buy.

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