Searching for Cheap Health Insurance
Getting a Cheap Health Insurance Need Not be Difficult, Right?
The costs of health care and health insurance are going up every year even faster than other costs of living. People struggling to keep their expenses in line would be wise to look around to make sure they get the best deal they can on health insurance.
If your employer offers health insurance, you are probably a step ahead of the game. Companies large and small are able to negotiate group rates with health insurance providers and the companies usually even agree to pay some portion of their employees' insurance premiums, usually making this the best way for someone to get cheap health insurance. Even though the employer is often the best choice for cheap health insurance, it is still a good idea to look around at other options--not every employer makes the best choice in terms finding an insurance provider and making a good deal.
For those who cannot get insured through their employer, you still need to keep in mind that "there's savings in numbers." Your best bet is to find a professional organization or union that might have a deal with an insurance company. Again, since these organizations can bring thousands of customers to an insurance company, they can get preferential rates. Even if you don't belong to a professional organization or union, you might be able to get a special rate through a social club or organization. As with employer-based health insurance plans, you can't assume that just because it's a group rate that it's the best rate--it's always worthwhile to look around.
If you are not able to obtain group health insurance through an employer or organization, you'll need to start searching on your own. In this case, the internet is your friend. There are hundreds of sites that will advertise cheap health insurance, so you will need to sort through a lot of offers. You'll want to look at several factors, including coverage, price, whether or not your doctor is in their network, and the reputation and stability of the company.
In terms of coverage, you need to evaluate where you are in life to figure out what kind of coverage you need. A single male will need just the basics, but a young couple looking to start a family will definitely want to make sure that they have maternity and prenatal coverage. An older adult will want to make sure there is coverage for long term care. If a person is old enough to qualify for Medicare, they may need to only find a supplement, rather than a full insurance policy.
Price is pretty self-explanatory, but remember to figure into the cost all the extras like copays and deductibles. Compare the total cost of one policy to another, including everything. For policies that limit you to a given network of health care providers (which are generally the cheapest types of health insurance), you'll need to check to be sure that you have covered facilities and providers near you, as well as making note of what it will cost to go out-of-network. If you have a preferred doctor, you might want to check and see if they are covered in the network, too.
Once you have found a few health insurance companies that meet all of your other criteria, it's time to look at the company's reputation. Most people are familiar with the bigger health insurance companies and probably know a few people who have been with them, so they can check their reputations just by asking a few questions. For the smaller companies, some internet research will be required. A check of the Better Business Bureau's website will tell you if there are any outstanding complaints against the company and may give you a rating for them. You can also do a general internet search with the company's name and the word "complaints" or "scam." If you see a lot of complaints, this probably isn't the company for you. There will be other companies though, and one will be right for you.