There are several reasons why you may need to apply for health insurance through a private insurer:
- You lose insurance through your or your spouse’s employer
- You need travel insurance for an upcoming trip
- You own your own business
- You’re a small business owner looking for a group policy
- You’re a senior who wants to enhance your Medicare coverage
No matter your situation, it can be helpful to compare different policies from different providers to understand what benefits you need and how much the premiums will be. While the price will be an important consideration, there are other features you should look for in your health insurance carrier.
A Good Reputation
Competitive pricing is essential, but a good reputation is equally as important. Your health isn’t something you want to risk, so finding a reputable insurance company should be a priority. Look for a trusted insurer with a large network of healthcare providers and up to date information. You might like to ask your friends and family for recommendations based on their own experiences. Also consider searching the Better Business Bureau’s directory of insurance companies for ratings, reviews and complaints.
Good communication starts with policies that are clear and easy to understand. Your insurer should make it simple for you to compare features side by side, and customize your plan to suit your unique circumstances. Often quality health insurers will give customers access to an online portal, an app, and links to virtual health professionals.
Besides written communication, being able to contact customer service in your state will give you peace of mind that help is available if you need it. Before applying it is a good idea to contact customer service and ask them to assist with the decision making process.
To determine whether or not you are getting a good deal, you will need to understand what you are getting for your money. For example, one provider might offer you a cheaper rate, but your policy might not cover dental or other extras that are important to you. The cost of your premiums will vary depending on the plan options you choose, but should always be competitive.
Often you will have the choice between an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). An HMO will cost less, but in order to save money, you need to utilize the insurer’s professional network of healthcare professionals. A PPO is a little more, but you get the option to see your own doctor, and you won’t need a referral to see a specialist.
Support for Seniors
If you are turning 65 soon, you’ll likely be eligible for Medicare coverage. Medicare reduces the cost of diagnostics and treatments, such as hospital visits and doctor’s appointments. Extras such as dental and vision aren’t covered in Medicare’s basic package, but are available through a Medicare Advantage plan offered from a private insurer. These plans often include all of Original Medicare’s basic coverage, as well as other services such as hearing aids and prescription drugs.
Health Insurance in 2020
Signing up for health insurance can be daunting. Besides competitive rates, look for a company with a good reputation and excellent customer service.
If you are over 65, your health care needs will be different, and you may like to enhance your Medicare policy with a Medicare Advantage plan. No matter who you are, you should always prioritize good customer service.