How to Find a Health Insurance Policy that is Good for You
For any particular individual, the best health insurance companies will not be those that are “best” according to some abstract criteria. Instead, they will be the ones that have products that fit your needs well. This will depend upon a great many factors, such as your state of health, where you live, and whether or not you are married and/or have dependent children.
Insurance Products are Unique
Every policy has its own specifications and every company handles them differently. Two companies can sell the exact same policy and service them differently. Additionally, each state has laws that impact how a policy must be administered.
Because of this reality, you really want to read about the specific benefits offered by a specific policy at a specific company. It can be helpful to talk to a broker, but you can also do your own research online.
Decide What You Want and Need
Do not assume that policies that have similar names are necessarily very similar. Before you start the shopping process, make a list of both wants and needs. Remember that needs are more critical than wants. Your list might look something like this:
- Price between $X and $Y per month.
- Covers some preventive care.
- Has a large list of in-network providers.
- Covers my current primary care physician.
- Covers the specific drugs I am currently on.
- Covers the specific form of birth control I prefer.
After you have a good idea of what your must haves and nice to haves are, you are ready to start doing some research concerning what is available in your state. If you have a job, you may have insurance available through your place of employment. You should look into that first and find out what is available, but you aren’t required to accept it if you don’t feel it adequately meets your needs.
If your income is low enough, you can also look at the insurance marketplace online for your specific state. This is something that the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obomacare”) requires each state to provide.
If your income is high enough, this will not apply to your situation. Generally speaking, once your income is above 400% of the poverty level, ACA related discounts and other special deals no longer apply.
Once you have a list of potential insurance products, you will want to do a bit of research on the insurance companies that are backing the products. This is where you will want to know some data on their track record.
The best health insurance companies will have a good track record of making payments quickly. They also will not have excessive or unreasonable denials. You should look up some reviews online to try to get a general overview of how good their reputation is. No company is without its critics, but some companies clearly outshine the rest of the pack.
Good health insurance can make a big, positive impact on your quality of life. In contrast, the wrong insurance for your needs can be seriously problematic. It is well worth it to do your research and make sure you get the best product available for your specific needs.