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Insurance Article

Tips for First-Time Health Insurance Shoppers

September 29 2018
Insurance

Assess your needs, know the different types of health insurance and ways to buy them, vet your finances and read all the plan documents thoroughly

It is prudent to opt for health insurance as it helps you to meet the rising cost of medical expenses. But, if you’re shopping for a health insurance plan for the first time, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider. To simplify the process, we have outlined some tips that will help you make some smart decisions about your healthcare coverage.

Examine Your Needs

Before you settle on a plan, you should thoroughly access your needs. Here are some things to consider:

  • How often do you fall ill?
  • How much coverage do you require?
  • Is your current doctor covered in the provider network of the plan?

You could also ask your doctor if he or she accepts a particular health insurance plan.

Where to Shop?

There are different routes you can take to buy health insurance, which includes:

  • Buy/Browse plans directly from an insurance company
    You can contact any health insurance provider to inquire about different health insurance plans that are available.
  • Purchase health insurance through a broker or agent
    Brokers and agents can also help you compare different plan options and process your enrolment. While brokers sell schemes offered by a number of different insurance companies, agents typically sell plans on behalf of one particular company.
  • Purchase coverage from online sellers
    You can use online sites to search and compare different plan options before purchasing health insurance. Many sites have plan comparison tools that help you to figure out what health insurance option best suits your needs.

Know the Difference

It is important to know the difference between an individual health coverage, a family floater policy and a rider. Individual health insurance plans offer coverage for hospitalization and surgical expenses. The family floater policy, on the other hand, covers the hospitalization and surgical expenses for the entire family. Riders are top-up plans that provide added coverage to your existing health insurance plans.

Financial Guidelines

You could opt for a plan that has a higher premium and lower out-of-pocket costs if:

  • You visit your doctor frequently
  • You take expensive medications on a regular basis
  • You are pregnant or have small children
  • You are likely to undergo a surgery in the coming year, or
  • You require treatment for a chronic condition such as cancer or diabetes

You could opt for a plan with higher out-of-pocket costs and lower premium if:

  • You can't afford plans with higher monthly premiums
  • You are healthy and rarely go to a doctor

Read All Plan Documents

Once you’ve vetted all your options, do ensure that your chosen plan covers all your needs. You must read your plan’s offer document and be aware of all the services that are covered. If you’re unsure about some fact or information, make sure to get the same clarified from the insurer.

Related Article:

How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan with Cancer Coverage
Things To Know Before Choosing A Critical Illness Insurance

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