Health Insurance Plans: How To Choose One That's Right For You

Today there are more types of Health Insurance and more choices than ever before. This basic guide should help you choose a plan that is right for you. Perhaps you are buying health insurance for the first time or thinking about changing plans. You may be married or single, have children or not. You'll want to consider your needs as you seek out information to help you find the right plan for you. The following information will be very basic, certainly you should research further before making any Health Insurance decisions.

Why Do I Need Health Insurance?

For the same reason you need car insurance or mortgage or life insurance: To protect yourself and your family financially in the event of an illness. Health costs are high, and it doesn't take much to run up a bill of $20,000 or more should you need an emergency appendectomy, gall bladder surgery, or other relatively minor procedure. Have a heart attack or be diagnosed with cancer and those costs can reach $100,000 and go even higher.

How Can I Get Health Insurance?

Most people get health insurance coverage through their employment. If you work for a large company, your costs may be lower as the company can get better rates when they insure a large group of people. There are provisions for smaller companies for health insurance too. And if you happen to be self-employed or cannot get coverage through your employment, there are private insurers and health plans with this in mind. Many online companies will help you find the health insurance just right for you and your family. Here is a sampling of just a few of them. Most will ask you where you live so that the availability is applicable to your location.

Insure Me: Affordable Health Insurance at Insure Me. Specializing in health insurance quotes, instant health insurance quotes, health insurance rates and health insurance comparisons.
NetQuote: Since 1989 they've assisted over 10,000,000 consumers and businesses with their Health Insurance Quotes.
Health Insurance Finders: Find medical health insurance quotes for affordable health insurance in all states from leading medical insurance companies.
4 Health Insurance Rates: For years they have offered Instant health insurance quotes to customers looking for health insurance Quotes, among other types of insurance.
eHealthInsurance: Get quotes, compare, and apply online; individual and family plans, short term health insurance, small business health insurance.

Shopping Tips

Shop carefully. Policies differ widely in both coverage and cost. Compare both with different agencies.
Know what the policy covers. Will it cover you in the event of a major medical emergency?
Read and understand the policy. Know when coverage begins (some have a waiting period), and what is covered and not covered.
Be wary of "single disease" insurance policies. There are some that offer coverage on only one disease, such as cancer. If you already have health insurance coverage, your existing plan may already have all the coverage you need.
Know your needs. If you are a couple with no children, buying individual policies may be cheaper than a family plan. If you plan on having children, then a family plan may be your best bet, or check to see if you can convert to a family plan later on.

Types of Insurance

1. Fee-for-Service: Traditional type of coverage, costs would be your monthly premium; a deductible (typically $250 a year per person or $500 for 2 in a family plan) would be spent before the insurance kicks in.
2. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Prepaid health plans; pay a monthly premium and perhaps a small co-pay ($5-25 per doctor visit is typical). Limited to doctors who practice within that HMO.
3. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): Combination of Fee-for-Service & HMO, you are not as limited in choice of doctors.

In Conclusion...

Having health insurance is very important to you and your family. A major illness or surgery can wipe out all your assets in a relatively short period of time. There are many options for health insurance. For this reason, it's important to study your options carefully. Choosing a health insurance policy will take more study and planning than choosing a car or mortgage insurance policy because there are so many choices. What's best for one person or family may not necessarily be best for you. Examine your needs, the policies offered, and your budget. Consider what is important to you in the terms of coverage. Visit online sites to get an idea of what is available and for how much money.

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