5 Keys to Choosing the Right Individual Health Insurance Plan

The internet has made it easier to compare different health insurance policies and shortlist health insurance plans. With the right health insurance policy, one can make substantial savings if a family member gets sick. Although there is no golden rule to choose the right individual plan, yet, some common tips help in the decision making process. Five keys to choosing the right individual insurance plan have been listed below:

• Determine your need and your affordability: Even before you start your online search for insurance plans, one needs to be sure about the details of the plan. You need to make sure that the benefits offered by the plan covers what you need for yourself and your family. However, the perfect plan will also come at a considerable cost. As an informed customer, you need to do a proper cost benefit analysis to make sure your trade-off between price and benefit is in the appropriate proportion. If we take into account, frequent trips to the doctors, medications and dental coverage – such scenarios eliminate unsuitable plans and makes the comparison process much easier.

• Don’t overbuy: The scenario is similar to buying a luxury car where the monthly EMI equals your home loan payment. There is no point in purchasing a health insurance policy with benefits which are unlikely to be used at a high and unviable cost. For relatively young and healthy individuals, a policy with a high deductible is more suitable. Deductibles are the amount paid by insurers before certain benefits kick in. A plan with a decent deductible will cost considerably less per month and could save money in the long run.

• Walk through several plans: It is always advisable to go through several plans. In the process, benefits associated with different health insurance plans can be reviewed and analyzed for better decision making. At first glance, some plans may look appealing. Later, the same plan turns out to be a costly affair due to cost sharing arrangement. The burden of medical cost in the future will be a big headache. Hence, going through and analyzing several plans is the best way forward.

• Co-insurance and co-payments: Several health insurance plans require the holder to contribute to the coverage payments. The contribution is called co-insurance and is the portion the customer has to pay after deductible. A co-pay is a flat fee one has to pay while paying a visit to a doctor or specialist. While choosing a personal health insurance policy, consumers should look into co-insurance and co-payments factors.

• Reputation matters: After identifying the price and need of the plan, reputation of the company should also be in the reckoning. Ideally, a company with a long haul in the market should be trusted and relied upon. There are many ways to assess the standing of insurance companies and their health insurance policies.

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The Affordable Alternative to Traditional Individual Health Insurance

As a way to begin let’s define what I mean by traditional health insurance. The traditional health insurance policy is composed of:

The deductible – This is the amount that you have to pay for a medical event before your health insurance will start to pay. In today’s world that deductible is often $3000 or more.

The coinsurance – After the deductible is met most policies require that the insured pay a percentage of all medical costs up to a maximum. Usually the insured pays anywhere from 20% to as much as 50% of every dollar billed.

The copays – In an attempt to make routine health care accessible many policies include a copay for doctor visits and prescriptions in lieu of having to meet a deductible. An example of this is the $10 office visit copay.

Maximum Out-Of-Pocket Costs – This is the most that an insured can expect to pay regardless of how large the medical bills are. As a general rule the maximum out-of-pocket costs for an individual are limited to around $7000. This can be a very misleading number because it assumes that all of your providers are in your network. If they are out of network your costs can be significantly higher.

And finally the “Network” – Virtually every traditional individual health insurance policy is tied to a network of providers. The narrower the healthcare network, the lower the premium. There is too much wrong with “networks” for this article. Suffice it to say that “networks” are the enemy of the healthcare consumer (you).

The Problem Facing Working Americans

The problem is simple: health insurance premiums are too high for most working Americans in the absence of a subsidy and when combined with extremely high deductible and out of pocket costs, healthcare becomes unaffordable. Let’s look at a couple of examples right here in North Carolina.

A non-smoking couple ages 62 and 63 find that their lowest premium option with BCBS of NC is $1999 a month for a $13,300 family deductible with no copays. A plan with a $7000 deductible and $25 office visit copays would cost $2682 per month.

Assuming the least expensive plan the annual cost would be $23,988 annually. And if either person had a medical event such as cancer, the actual cost for healthcare would be $37,288. You have to ask: “Why even have health insurance?”

A non-smoking 30 year old couple found that the least expensive plan would cost $787.84 a month for a $13,300 family deductible with no copays. The least expensive plan that included copays was $1056.88 but had a $7000 deductible and the most restrictive network. Assuming the least expensive plan, should either member of this young couple have a medical event their total annual cost (deductible + premium) would be $16,454.08. That is a devastating amount of money for a young couple.

The simple solution to this problem is a Fixed Benefit Health Insurance. Unlike a major medical policy where the policy pays for all …

How to Find the Best Individual Health Insurance Plans

If you are after the best individual health insurance plan, you are probably looking for the best long term requirements of a coverage policy. First of all, it is not that easy to find the best individual health insurance plan which will ultimately meet all your needs.

The first step that you must take is to look for other plans that will enable you to realize its benefits in such an easy manner. With numerous diseases continually plaguing the environment, it is possible that you might lose your savings overnight on account of the numerous medical procedures and tests that will be necessary for your treatment. This is why it is very vital that you find the best individual health insurance plan that will invariably protect your savings in the near future.

Before locating the best health insurance provider or company, consider researching about the reliability quotient of your prospective insurance provider. For you to avail the best type of plan, check and review the company’s market record and the number of years it has been in active operation. The length of its service is a manifestation as well as evidence of the company’s credibility and dependability. You may also consult friends and family members who are also associated with other reliable companies.

Once you’re done with your research and have surprisingly obtained a reliable and dependable mark from the company’s performance, send a request letter to the company and inquire about their best individual health insurance deal. Feed them with the necessary information about your personal requirements and let them find the perfect plan suitable for you.

Just before you close a deal, it is very important that you take the time to compare different rates. The insurance quotes that you will obtain from a specific company may not usually require you to sign up with them right away. Take your time in reviewing their terms and conditions.

Be sure that you follow the coverage policy as this will indicate that the insurance rates that have been offered to you are the best individual health insurance rates there are. Make sure to look over the health coverage expenses and needs that are provided. There are occasional scenarios where the cheapest and affordable plans are not always the best. Moreover, there is a need for you to look over the terms and conditions of the health coverage that are normally offered with the health plan. You might also obtain a bit of extra money to secure the best individual health insurance plan which has the ability to offer you comprehensive benefits, since these are financially beneficial after all.

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