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Get Smart

Here you’ll find information about basic terms and concepts about health insurance. When you’re ready to discuss further, we hope it’ll help you recognize what makes a good plan, one that’s good for you. Then we can talk about it – just give us a call or use our QuickForm to the right.

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Things to consider when shopping for health insurance:

First and foremost, we need to remember that “health is wealth”. The very first thing to consider, before premiums, or co-payments, or plan features, is our health – and the importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Doing what you can to improve or keep up your health is just as important as finding a good health insurance plan. Plus, healthy habits help keep premiums and expenses lower – for everyone!

Next up, consider getting help from a qualified professional. That’s likely one of the reasons why you’re here. We have access to information, plans, features, riders, and more, to help tailor a health insurance plan to meet your needs, your budget. And getting professional advice is one of the best ways to help avoid surprises at the doctor’s office – it’s not the time to discover something challenging about your policy that you weren’t aware of, after you’re already sick or injured.

It may seem obvious, but the decision about whether you require an individual policy or a policy for your family is important. And before buying insurance, check with your employer or benefits representative to make sure an employee plan isn’t offered, or if one is available, that it will meet your needs. Plans available to individuals and families outside of an employer can sometimes be less expensive and can often match or even exceed benefits in group benefit plans.

If you are a student, then your university may offer insurance and you may be asked to pay for it along with your fees. If you have a choice, consider getting information about individual health insurance policies. Many will have similar benefits, and in some cases, lower expenses.

In general, you should consider choosing a plan that provides maximum health coverage within your budget – there are many ways to accomplish this in today’s market. We’re standing by ready to help work through these important decisions with you.

If you require temporary coverage, consider a short-term health insurance plan, but as always, make sure you understand the term, features, and benefits of your plan.

Ask about “in network” discounts. Many plans offer significant discounts due to the size and quality of the provider network. In addition, take a moment or two to make sure that a specialists are available if you have special needs. More specifically, ask about your specialist. Many plans afford you the ability to choose your own doctor, but will make network discounts available if you stay “in network”.

With special health challenges, or the inability to qualify for insurance at all, ask about guaranteed issue plans. While these plans carry certain features that prevent them from being suitable choices for everyone, they offer great value for the right individual.

Consider adding critical illness insurance onto a plan you are about to purchase. Great plans get even better when the safety net gets stronger. Critical illness insurance is often a way to gain additional benefit – with tax-free payments often in lump-sum distributions – without adding significant cost to your premium. Ask your agent for details.

Finally, before choosing any insurance plan you need to consider certain important factors that are listed below:

  • Number of doctor visits allowed in a year, how those visits are paid for.
  • What prescription drugs are covered under the plan? Are there alternatives for buying less expensive versions of the same drug if it is not covered by the plan?
  • If you have children, ask about benefits for wellness care or regular check-ups.
  • Consider your family planning. With vast changes in the health care landscape, benefits (or lack of) for pregnancy are changing.
  • Be well aware of the health coverage limits provided by the plan. For instance, an affordable plan that covers only a small portion of your hospital charges should be weighed against the risk you face of catastrophic medical expenses. Is there a way to balance the decision? You bet – and we’re happy to help.
  • Ask for clarification about the relationship between affordable premiums, and higher deductibles. It’s a see-saw relationship, but with creative use of inexpensive complimentary riders, the best of both worlds can be acheived.

Although buying health insurance can be a bit time consuming, we can’t ignore its importance. A medical emergency without proper health insurance coverage can simply drain your life savings and strain family relationships when you need them most.

Let us help you take the pain out of finding the right insurance. Call today for help sorting through your options. We’re not captive to any one company, and can bring you the best plans available from insurers around the country.