--%>

Guide to Understanding and Buying Individual Health Insurance

Posted November 29 2011


Buying individual healthcare insurance can be a stressful experience for anyone who has always been covered by their employer’s group plan. The following is a guideline that you can use to find the best insurance plan to cover yourself and your family. 

 

The 3 areas to focus on are 1) Affordability 2) Quality of coverage and 3) Strength of the insurance carrier. 

Company- Your health insurance carrier should be stable and have a good record of paying claims. 

Coverage – The health coverage must meet your needs. It should cover doctors, hospitals, labs plus drugs. It should also have physicians and hospitals in their networks that are near your home or place of work. 

Price – Your health plan must be priced competitively relative to the benefits provided. 

The basic process to use is to: 

Determine which individual or family medical companies are worthy of being considered. 

Determine which insurance plans offered by those companies offer proper coverage for you. 

Determine which insurance plans have the lowest overall cost relative to the health insurance coverages provided. 

A private insurance provider should have good financial ratings and be in good standing with your state’s insurance department. You may also want to do a search for complaints. Every insurance company has some complaints just by virtue of the volume of clients they have. However, a red flag should go up in your mind when there are too many complaints. This is especially true when the insurance company in question is small. 

One more issue to look at is how much they pay in benefits as a percentage of the premium they take in. 

Benefits – What does your medical plan cover? There are two aspects of coverage.1) Is the treatments that are paid for by the plan? 2) Is the network’s list of doctors that the insurance policy includes. 

Covered Healthcare Procedures: Your policy should cover you well and the hospital and should have a good lifetime maximum benefit.You should read through your insurance plan’s outline of coverage or official brochure to see how doctors, hospitals and prescriptions are covered. Most, if not all, insurance plans will have a list of treatments and services that are not covered. Most of the excluded or limited items in this section are reasonable and are included in the plans of most carriers. Plans typically will not cover plastic surgery, for example. There are are often exclusions that you may discover in one company’s plan but not in another plan. 

Coverage for preexisting conditions is one example of this. Most plans will not cover the costs of a normal pregnancy. The ones that do will usually be more expensive when compared to otherwise similar plans that do not cover pregnancy. The exclusions and limitations section of your policy or its outline of coverage should be read carefully before you make your decision. 

Insurance Networks: Knowing which physicians and hospitals are in your medical insurance carrier’s network is an issue to address. You might be able to find a list of doctors who accept a given insurance plan by calling your insurance broker.

Price – Finding the best affordable health care coverage. It’s easy to compare personal health insurance costs, but it is much harder to be certain you’re getting good value for your money. Selecting which policy is best for you; Not until you have crossed the plans on your list that have bad coverage and/or a lousy list of doctors should you start comparing the prices of the plans. 

The best health insurance coverage, may not be the best plan for you. Make sure that any plan you purchase will cover your health care needs well and fits your budget. Many continue to search for affordable health care services.

MHG Insurance Brokers employs passionate and knowledgeable insurance experts who provide sound advice on the most appropriatehealth insurance plan for individuals and families according to their unique financial situation. Let MHG Insurance Brokers help you find the best individual or group health insurance policy for you, your family and/or your business. Contact us today to find out more about group and individual health insurance