Buying health insurance plan can be quite an uphill task, if not difficult. The plan has to meet the specific needs and budget of the purchaser. Health insurance is available in different types and each has its pros and cons. There are many questions to ask before buying health insurance to get the right plan for oneself. There may be plan which is right for a single person but not for the family and children. There are many points to note while shopping for health insurance.
In addition to cost, one also needs to consider the benefits that are available with the insurance policy. This makes it necessary to strike a balance between cost and coverage provided before one decides to buy health insurance.
Questions to ask before buying health insurance
One must ask the following questions before making a final decision about your health insurance plan.
- Is it possible to stay with the present provider or clinic?
- Is there a network of providers available with the health plan? Is my provider available in the network of providers?
- Do I have the freedom to select all the providers?
- Is there any need for referral to see a physician?
- If I stay in a different state for part of the year, what will happen with my insurance coverage?
- Does the plan provide coverage for expenses during my travel?
- If my child attends school outside the state, will be there coverage at the new school?
- What is the total cost each year?
- Does the health insurance plan have deductibles? What will be the maximum amount of out-of-pocket costs? Is there any copays and coinsurance?
- What are the different services covered by the policy? Does the coverage include prescription drugs? Does outpatient care and home care come within the coverage?
- Does the company have a limit on the number of days it will provide the services?
Points to note While Shopping for Health Insurance
- Check to see whether the health insurance company has license to do business in the state. To know this, one can call the state department of commerce.
- There are differences in coverage and costs among different companies along with policies. These make it important to contact the companies and ask for information on policies. This information can be compared to find the plan that is right for you.
- One must make sure that the policy provides the coverage that meets your specific needs. See to it that the policy answers all your queries before settling for one.
- Find when the policy coverage will start (it must be made clear that there is waiting period in some policies before the start of the coverage). Check to see whether pre-existing conditions, if any, will be covered by the policy.
- Make sure that a “free look” clause exists. Most of the companies provide a minimum of 10 days for you to look over the policy after the receipt of it. If you find it not suitable, you have the right to return it and get the refund of premium.
- Be careful for policies that provide insurance coverage for single disease like cancer. If you have any health insurance policy, check to see the protection that is already available before going to purchase more insurance.