Buying health insurance can be confusing with all the options and terminology. Fortunately, getting quotes for health insurance online makes it simpler to compare health insurance plans.
However, there are many variables with health insurance. Finding the right plan that fits your needs and budget is not always easy. If you need medical insurance quotes but don’t know where to start, this article will help.
What to Look for When Getting Quotes for Health Insurance
For the best online health insurance quote within your budget, there are three parts to consider. They are the insurance company, the policy coverage, and the insurance provider.
1. Know the Health Insurance Company
The first thing to ask is, can they legally do business in your state? Check with your state’s insurance regulator to see if the company is on the list.
How reliable is the company?
Every insurance company has a rating based on its financial structure. Check with the rating companies like Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and A.M. Best. The highest rating is A++ Excellent, and it means a company has plenty of money to pay claims.
2. Understand the Policy Costs
When comparing quotes for health insurance, there are four costs to know before deciding which plan is right for you:
- Premium – The monthly insurance payment.
- Deductible – The fixed amount of money you must pay before the insurance plan pays.
- Co-payment (also called co-pay) – This is the additional money you pay for each health care service. In an 80/20 plan, you pay 20% of each claim until you meet the deductible, and the insurance pays 80%.
- Maximum out-of-pocket cost or expense – No matter how large the medical costs for a year, you won’t pay over the maximum amount. This expense renews annually.
3. The Right Health Care Provider
There is an alphabet soup of providers from which to choose, including HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO.
Do you have favorite doctors and hospitals that you want your insurance to cover, or are you open to seeing other providers?
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Point of Service (POS) are your best options. You have the flexibility to use other doctors, but you’ll pay less if they are in the network.
With a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), they limit you to doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It will only cover out-of-network care in an emergency.
Like HMOs, an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) is a managed care plan. It only covers your health costs if you use doctors, specialists, or hospitals in the plan’s network unless it’s an emergency.
Choose the Right Health Insurance Plan
Whether you are looking at the federal marketplace or through your employer for coverage, you want to see these ten health benefits included:
- Ambulatory (Outpatient) patient services
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization including surgery and overnight stays
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
- Mental health including counseling, psychotherapy, and substance abuse
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services plus chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
If your employer offers health insurance, it will cost you less because they pay a substantial portion of the premium. If you are going through your state or federal marketplace, Healthcare.gov can help you estimate the total cost of your healthcare.
Determine the Medical Coverage
When comparing different plans, look at the history of your family’s medical needs. Who needs the most medical coverage? Do you have small children? Is anyone prone to accidents or illnesses?
Here are the three options depending on your situation:
- Only You – Look for individual coverage
- A Couple – Depending on health issues, two individual or one family policy
- Three or More – You need a family policy
If you or your spouse require more medical care, two separate policies may be less expensive. Being aware of your family’s medical trends can help you make the right choice.
Another consideration is the plan’s network. If you have a doctor that you want to keep seeing, be sure they are in the network of the plan you choose.
With an HMO or POS health plan, you must see the primary care physician before seeing a specialist if you want the insurance to cover it. If that is too restrictive, you may want to select another plan, but HMOs tend to be the least expensive option.
Compare Medical Insurance Quotes Using the Same Criteria
The two most crucial factors when comparing online health insurance quotes are out of pocket costs and the benefits.
Out-of-Pocket Expenses Add Up Quickly
While most people compare the monthly premium, it’s the out-of-pocket expenses that can drain your savings if you need medical assistance. Make sure you are clear on your deductible, co-payments, and co-insurance.
These are the unseen costs that you must pay if you make a claim, and they can add up fast. Know what these figures are and compare them before accepting a health plan.
The Benefits Make All the Difference
To find the right plan, ask the right questions.
- Does the plan cover my current prescription medication?
- What happens if I travel abroad and get sick?
- Does it cover pregnancy or a pre-existing medical condition?
To get the answers, you will need to speak directly to an agent or customer service representative. It’s the only way to know which plan is best for you or your family.
The Advantage of Getting Quotes for Health Insurance Online
Finding online health insurance quotes allows you to access the same pricing as insurance agents for medical plans. Within minutes you can narrow down your choices and receive an instant quote customized to you and your family. With your health plan in mind, you can take it to the next step. Get all your questions answered by a licensed insurance agent or broker in your state.