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How To Shop For Health Insurance

If you have always had health insurance provided through either a family

member or your employer, shopping for health insurance yourself might be

something new to you. It isn’t quite as daunting as it sounds; if you have

shopped for auto or homeowner’s insurance, it is fairly similar. There are a

few key things to keep in mind that will help make the task a little easier.


Talk To An Agent

If you already have an insurance agent, it’s a great place to start. Even if

the agent who handles your other insurance policies doesn’t do health

insurance, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone who

does. An agent who works with health insurance regularly will be able to

help you make a decision on coverage and what type of plan is right for you.

They will also help you fill out the necessary forms and make the entire

process a little easier.


Choose An HMO Or PPO Plan

Once you know which type of plan you prefer, it becomes easier to narrow

down the list of possibilities. Which type you prefer depends on a number of

factors including your budget and your personal preference. In some cases,

going directly through the HMO company for coverage is the best way to get

the right plan for you and your family. PPO plans often come with a wider

range of coverage, premium, and co-insurance options, so if you choose this

path there will be a little more research to do in order to figure out exactly

the way to go.


Understand The Cost And Coverage

When you are shopping for a health insurance plan, be sure you get all the

pertinent information and not just the amount of the premium. Ask for the

co-insurance and co-pay amounts, deductibles, and out of pocket limits. And

ask for a copy of the policy benefits and exclusions; you should be able to

review it and ensure that coverage is provided for your particular needs.

Look for key coverages such as maternity benefits, regular well visits, and

emergency care costs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the coverage

and find out exactly what you will be responsible for and what the policy will



Asking questions is the key to making sure you get the coverage you need

from your policy and don’t wind up with any nasty surprises after you are

locked into the policy. Health insurance is a major purchase, so do your

research and ensure that your hard-earned money is buying you the

coverage you need.

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