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Health Insurance Quotes and Plans – How to Make Comparisons

One of the smartest- if not the smartest- things you can do before purchasing a health insurance plan, is to request different quotes from different companies and make comparisons. However, you must first cut through the typically confusing insurance-talk about coinsurance, networks, deductibles, and all the rest.

So what do you have to think about when you compare health insurance quotes?

Decide what’s important to you.

First and foremost, make a list of the things that are important for you to have in a health plan. If you plan to continue your relationship your present doctor, ask what insurance plans he or she will participate in for the coming plan year. Networks are now getting smaller; what a network was two years ago may not be the same network it is now. Consider this as you compare health insurance quotes.

Don’t just focus on the premium.

Yes, a low premium can be very tempting, but know that a plan with a low premium may come with a high deductible, possibly leaving you responsible for a good chunk of your own medical bills every year. You’ll need to meet the deductible before several types of services can be covered. Obviously, this is one of the most important reasons it’s important to compare health insurance quotes before purchasing a certain plan.

Review all potential out-of-pocket costs.

Even if a lot of preventive care types should be fully covered now at no cost to you, health reform dictates that you may possibly have to pay copayments, coinsurance (a part of the total costs) and a deductible for the other services.

Get to know your doctors and hospitals.

Check with the The Joint Commission (formerly The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), an independent nonprofit organization that provides accreditation and certification to hospitals and health care programs. Their website will let you determine whether a hospital or medical practice has been awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval. Everything else being equal, you just want a health plan with a reputable hospital within your area.

Consider prescription drugs.

Also check with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, another nonprofit organization evaluating the quality of medical practices.
When ranking health insurance plans at the state level, Consumer Reports’ website uses the committee’s data on customer satisfaction, preventive services and treatment as basis. Remember to check if the plan includes your prescription drugs as you compare health insurance quotes.

Shop around!

Even if it may seem easy to just renew your current plan, you should review your other options, whether in private or through your employer. Be sure to look at the entire picture and not just the price tag. It could take you a bit more time, but without a doubt, you do have to compare health insurance quotes deciding to buy a certain plan.