In the market for health insurance? Want to know how to get the best policy at the best price? Here’s how …
The best health insurance policy is the one that gives you the coverage you want at a price you can afford. The most popular health insurance plans are:
1. HMOs (health maintenance organizations) – With an HMO your receive health care from a specific network of doctors and hospitals. The HMO pays for your doctor bills, hospital fees, and prescriptions, and you pay a co-payment (usually $5 to $15) for each doctor visit.
You must choose a network primary care physician who will be responsible for overseeing your health care and referring you to specialists when needed. Visits to doctors outside the network are not covered.
HMOs are the least expensive comprehensive health care plan and involve the least amount of paperwork.
2. PPOs (preferred provicer organizations) – With a PPO you also receive your health care from a network of doctors and hospitals, but you don’t need to choose a primary health care physician and you don’t need to get a referral to see a non-network doctor. However, you’ll pay extra to see a non-network doctor.
PPOs are more expensive than HMOs because they are more flexible.
3. POSs (point of service plans) – These plans are similar to HMOs, but you may use non-network doctors by paying a higher co-payment and a deductible.
POSs are cheaper than PPOs, but more expensive than HMOs.
There are three websites where you can check out insurance companies:
The A.M. Best website (ambest.com) – This website lists a company’s financial status and is a good site to use to determine their financial stability and their ability to pay claims.
J.D. Power & Associates website (jdower.com) – This website provides customer satisfaction ratings and is a good site to use to see how well a company treats its customers and how well they pay their claims.
Your state’s department of insurance website – All states maintain a department of insurance website, and most states provide a list of complaints filed against insurance companies so you can see if a company has had more than its share.
To get the best rate you’ll need to do a little comparison shopping. The easiest way to do it is to go to an insurance comparison website.
Visit or click on the following link to get health insurance policy quotes from top-rated companies and see how much you can save. You can get more tips and advice in their Articles section, and get answers to your questions from an insurance expert by using their online chat service.
The author, Brian Stevens, is a former insurance agent and financial consultant who has written a number of articles on health insurance policies.