Most of the sites you will come across have one thing in common, a free quote engine. These quote engines will usually ask for either the state you live in or your zip code. This information helps the engine return a list of health insurance agents who are licensed to sell health insurance plans in your area. This step is important because insurance regulations vary from state to state, so you first want to make sure the agent you are dealing with is knowledgeable about insurance regulations in your area.
Another benefit to these free quote engines is that, since they are free, you can request multiple quotes. This is a good idea because it puts the power in your hands, as an informed consumer. With multiple quotes, you can begin to evaluate the total health insurance costs between different plans. Requesting multiple quotes also lets you interact with multiple agents and get a feel for which agent you prefer working with and who appears to have your best interests in mind. Having choices is key to making an informed decision and saving money.
There’s no denying that health insurance is a very important part of our lives and it should not be taken lightly. But you also shouldn’t stress too hard with all of the tools that are out there to help you. This article is intended to help you understand some of the basic concepts and terms of health insurance and to point you in the right direction for finding a low cost health insurance plan that suits your needs.
The True Value of Low Cost Health Insurance
If you are like most people, you want to get the best value for your money when shopping for health insurance. This usually translates into a search for “low cost” or cheap health insurance, but there is more to it than that. Your real goal should be to maximize coverage while minimizing the total health insurance cost for a plan. This is a delicate balance that takes some effort to get right.
Not all forms of low cost or cheap health insurance are great values. You must consider both the health insurance cost of a plan and the coverage it provides to get an accurate sense of what you are buying. And even the cost side of the equation is not always clear. Many people lazily assume that the monthly premium is the “sticker price” of a health insurance plan. That is a mistake.
A health insurance plan’s deductible is just as important as its monthly premium; both are critical factors that contribute to the total health insurance cost of a plan. The deductible is the amount of money you would have to pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance provider starts covering the rest. So if you have a $2,000 deductible, your insurance provider won’t pay a penny until you have already spent $2,000 of your own money on your own medical expenses. So in addition to your monthly premium payments, you must also consider the potential out-of-pocket costs you might face in Â paying off your deductible if an accident occurs and you end up in the hospital.
Other factors you must consider when evaluating the total health insurance cost of a plan include co-pays for prescription drugs and visits to the doctor. Most plans will require you to pay some level of co-pay for these items, but how much is the question. Be sure to not overlook these details when evaluating a plan.
Be Honest With Thyself
Now that you are aware of the different factors to consider in evaluating the true value of a low cost health insurance plan, you should feel more confident in your ability to choose a plan that is value-tuned to your needs. For example, if you are young and healthy and feel like trips to the hospital are unlikely in your near future, you might opt for a higher deductible in return for lower monthly premiums. However, if you are into outdoor activities or extreme sports which can lead to injury, a more comprehensive plan will suit you better.
Health Insurance is very important and is something you need to be honest with yourself (and your family) about. As tempting as it might be to cut corners and get a super cheap plan with minimum coverage benefits, you could ultimately be hurting yourself and putting your family at risk of financial ruin if a medical emergency occurs. So paying a little extra each month to get adequate health insurance coverage can end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.