Top 5 Questions to Ask When Shopping for Health Insurance


1
Is this a company I can trust with my health?
Consistently bad reviews about an insurance company should be a red flag.
Consistently bad reviews about an insurance company should be a red flag.
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So you've found a plan you like at a price you can afford. Before you sign on the dotted line, do another check to make sure that this is a company that's good in real life, and not just good on paper. Check the insurer's rating with the Better Business Bureau or at A.M. Best, a financial service rating industry. Ask friends and neighbors if they've had any experience with the company, and scan customer reviews online. Though no company has completely pleased all of its customers, pay heed if you notice any recurring problems in bad reviews. And though you've probably spent a good deal of time on the company's Web site looking at its insurance plans, look at other areas of the site. Is there a phone line, e-mail address or an online chat function for addressing questions and concerns? Does the site provide instructions and assistance with common tasks, such as finding an in-network doctor or filing a claim? If you don't like the insurer before you sign the deal, you probably won't like it any better once you start receiving care.

Need more information on health insurance? See the links below.

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Sources

  • Bankrate.com. "Shopping for health insurance work sheet." 2007. (July 22, 2010)http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/Financial_Literacy/pdf/Aug07_work_sheet_health_a1.pdf
  • Bittner, Sylvia. "How to shop for health insurance." Michigan Farm Bureau. (July 22, 2010)http://www.michfb.com/files/benefits/health_insurance/3.%20How%20to%20shop%20for%20health%20insurance.pdf
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. "How to Shop for Health Insurance." (July 22, 2010)http://www.bcbsil.com/getting_started/how_to_shop/index.html
  • Cohen, Elizabeth. "How to shop for health insurance." CNN. March 12, 2009. (July 22, 2010)http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/12/choosing.private.insurance/index.html
  • Dratch, Dana. "Buying Private Health Insurance." Bankrate.com. Dec. 30, 2008. (July 22, 2010)http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/buying-private-health-insurance-1.aspx
  • Ehrenfeld, Temma. "How to Shop for Health Insurance." CBS MoneyWatch. June 29, 2010. (July 22, 2010)http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/article/buy-health-insurance-how-to-shop-for-a-plan/439890/
  • HealthCare.gov Web site. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (July 22, 2010)http://www.healthcare.gov/
  • Konrad, Walecia. "When Choosing Health Care, Know What You'll Owe." New York Times. July 9, 2010. (July 22, 2010)http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/health/10patient.html
  • Robertson, Christopher Tarver, Richard Egelhof and Michael Hoke. "Get Sick, Get Out: The Medical Causes of Home Mortgage Foreclosures." Health Matrix. 2008. (July 28, 2010)http://law.case.edu/student_life/organizations/healthmatrix/files/Robertson%20Final%20Article.pdf
  • U.S. News and World Report. "Smart Tips for Buying Health Insurance Online." Feb. 24, 2009. (July 22, 2010)http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2009/02/24/smart-tips-for-buying-health-insurance-online.html
  • Wall Street Journal. "How to Shop for Health Insurance." (July 22, 2010)http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finance/insurance/how-to-shop-for-health-insurance/

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