|It is very difficult to make a right and wise decision on which
Health Insurance Policy to buy. This is truly a confusing task.
Here is a guideline. Here are the five most important things you
have to pay attention to. These items are also your keys to
picking a policy that's right for you:
The insurance company's record of complaints: Every large
company will have some complaints. You can obtain all this
information at your State Board of Insurance. Avoid companies
that have a high number of unresolved complaints. Ask your agent
for the phone number for your State Board of Insurance. If he
will not give it to you, this is a warning signal! You can also
look up the number in any directory of your state's agencies. No
matter what your agent says, CALL your State Board of Insurance
and ask them for the record on any company you are considering.
The limits shown on your health insurance quote: Check your
quote to see if you are comfortable with the benefit levels. You
can usually change several levels to fit your needs and budget.
For example, a higher deductible will cost less each month.
Also, many plans give you a choice to split your medical bills
with the Insurance Company either 50/50 or 80/20 (with them
paying 80%). Then they will have an amount (your stop loss)
where they will take over at paying 100% of your covered bills
for the remainder of the year. These deductibles and other
levels start over every year in most plans. Some plans, though,
have a "per cause" deductible. Such a deductible means that you
will be responsible for bills up to that deductible for each
accident or illness. Make sure you are aware of this
distinction, so you can choose a plan that's right for YOU!
The insurance company's rating: Ask your agent for the company's
best rating. If the company is highly rated at this national
rating registry, then the company will have literature showing
their rating with an explanation of what it means. Choose only
companies that have an A or A+ rating.
The limits revealed within the policy: Ask your agent for a
sample policy, and then check two sections: The Benefits and The
Limitations and Exclusions. Many of your benefits are actually
limited in the Benefits section. For example, diagnostic testing
or outpatient treatment may be severely limited. These days, you
could have a serious disease such as cancer, and never go into
the hospital for it. You could rack up thousands of dollars in
medical bills for the diagnostic and follow-up lab tests and
MRIs, and then have surgery, chemo, or radiation therapy all on
an outpatient basis.
Your hospital room rate and intensive care can be limited. Your
hospital room rate should be at least average semi-private and
your intensive care benefit should not be tied to your room
rate, but should, instead, be covered as whatever is an average
ICU rate for the area of the hospital, also. Some policies limit
the ICU benefit to 3 times the regular room rate, when ICU can
cost you 10 or 20 times the room rate each day. A short hospital
stay with a limit like this in your policy can cost you
literally thousands of dollars. A long hospital stay with a
limit like this in your policy could drive you into bankruptcy.
Even if your policy says it takes over at 100% after $5,000 of
covered medical bills, the important term here is "covered"
medical bills. If the policy only pays three times the room rate
for ICU, then the rest of the ICU bill is considered an
Pay the Insurance Company, Not the Agent, & Follow Up!: And
lastly, make your check payable to the Insurance Company, and
then follow up to make sure it was received. When you get your
policy, check the Schedule of Benefits to verify you got the
coverage you ordered, and then check to see if any special
Amendments were added to your policy to exclude any of your
conditions. If an Amendment exists, these conditions will always
be excluded from this policy, even after the Pre-Existing
Conditions Limitation expires.
With all these 5 items, they will help you which will protect
you from catastrophic medical bills. Be sure to take the time to
choose wisely when it comes to your health insurance!
About the author:
Mary Williams owns many Websites related to health and eye care,
Surgery Secrets, and Lasik Vision
Secrets. Please visit her websites and find out more about
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