How to Pick a Health Insurance Provider: Everything You Need to Know
The Affordable Care Act put a huge dent in the number of uninsured people in the US, but it didn’t eliminate the uninsured entirely. In fact, there are still approximately 30 million Americans with health insurance coverage.
Of course, not all of those people will remain uninsured forever. Some of them will get promotions or move into jobs that let them cover the costs of a health insurance policy.
The question you’ll face at that point is how to pick a health insurance provider. If you’ve never picked an insurance provider before, keep reading for some key tips.
Consider Your Needs
Knowing your needs will often help you sort through your options for insurance providers. For example, let’s say that you’re changing jobs and your insurance will lapse for a few weeks during the in-between time.
In that case, you’ll shop for short term insurance with a provider that specializes in those kinds of policies. If you’re looking for a full-time provider, you’ll shop with a company that offers annual policies.
You should also spend some time comparing insurance costs between policies and between companies. While comparable policies are often close in cost between different companies, that isn’t always the case.
Investigating the options lets you make an informed and financially responsible decision about your health coverage.
Terms and Conditions
Before you sign up for a policy or with a specific provider, you should also take a close look at their insurance terms and conditions. Many policyholders get a nasty surprise when they find out that the insurance company buried a host of limitations in the fine print.
You should specifically look for coverage exclusions under the policy. For example, policies that include prescription drug coverage will often exclude certain medications from their coverage.
If it’s your first time getting coverage, you should ask what your friends and family think about their coverage. If they talk about how terrible it is, make a note of the company’s name for when you’re investigating. If they talk about how good the coverage or company is, add them to the list of companies you should definitely research.
Read Online Reviews
You can also get some insight into other customers’ experiences with different insurance companies by reading online reviews. Just make sure that you take those reviews with a grain of salt. Insurance problems can leave reviewers feeling particularly bitter about a company.
How to Pick a Health Insurance Provider
When it comes to how to pick a health insurance provider, you should take things slow. Your health insurance coverage can have a huge impact on the kind and quality of care you receive.
Minimally, you should consider your insurance needs. Do some research into the costs. Make sure you take a close look at the terms and conditions.
You can also ask around and read online reviews to get a customer-level view of the company.
Looking for more health-related tips? Check out some of the other posts in our Health section.