How to Compare Health Care Insurance

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    • 1). Calculate your total medical costs by adding monthly insurance premiums to the anticipated deductibles and co-pays. Deductibles consist of all fees you must pay before your insurance company covers your bills, and co-pays consist of payments required at the time you receive medical service. Visit sites like ehealthinsurance.com to obtain instant quotes on monthly premiums based on your state and age.

    • 2). Match your current health needs to the plan's cost, coverages and exclusions. If you have good health, select a plan that offers catastrophic coverage (insurance that offers low premiums by covering your costs only after your total payments reach a high deductible of $2,000 to $5,000), and you will save money in monthly premiums. Review existing condition exclusions because some insurance plans will not cover pre-existing conditions while other plans require you wait for 12 to 18 months before obtaining service for these conditions..

    • 3). Select the deductible and co-pays that fit your budget. According to Kaiserquotes.com, deductibles range from $500 to $10,000. According to Health Plans of Georgia, standard co-pays can range from $35 to $40 per visit, and emergency room co-pays range from $200 to $300 per visit.

    • 4). Select a reputable broker with an established reputation in your community who can process all your paperwork and file claims for you, or bypass the broker by obtaining insurance directly via websites like Aetna.com, Anthem,com or BCBS.com. Compare insurance brokers at sites like consumerreports.org or by visiting The National Committe for Quality Assurance at ncqa.org. Evaluate the insurance company's financial stability at sites like moodys.com or weissratings.com.

    • 5). Review the insurance plan's small print that can contain additional limitations, qualifiers, or procedures. If the fine print outlines specific filing procedures, for instance, that you fail to follow, you might remove the insurance company's obligation to pay. Strike out and initial any clause that makes you give up the right to sue your insurance company for non-payment.

    • 6). Review the policy's "auto-renew" clause. Auto renew allows you to automatically renew your health insurance coverage, so you experience no lapse.

    • 7). Review the policy's lifetime limits that according to National Hemophilia Foundation can range from $1 million to $3 million for lifetime coverage benefits.

    • 8). Choose a premium that fits your budget. According to sites ustoday.com and msnbc.com, annual individual premiums cost $3,606 to $4,824. Family premiums cost $7,102 to $13,375 annually.

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