Monthly Archives: November 2016

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

29One of the best ways of safeguarding your personal well-being is by having a health insurance plan.

Due to the large number of companies that offer this type of insurance policy, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Here are five tips to help you find the best plan on the market today.

Check the Networks of Different Plans

If you have a select group of doctors whom you prefer, ask them which insurance networks they are part of. You can also use one of the many accredited online directories to know the networks that each plan on your list has. On the other hand, if you just relocated to a new city and you do not have a preferred doctor yet, choose a plan that has a large network of health practitioners.

Know the Maximum Premium Budget

Consider your average monthly expenses to know the amount of money that you can spend on the policy without compromising your financial capability. Low premiums often result in high out-of-pocket costs. Hence, what appears to be the cheapest plan may really be the most expensive, as you will be forced to pay for most of the services. One of the best ways of choosing the right premium is by estimating the total amount of money that you spent on health care last year, including out-of-pocket expenses and premiums. Then, choose a plan that has similar monthly deductibles, copays, and premiums. A high premium plan will save you thousands of dollars on out-of-pocket costs if you require expensive procedures or frequent medical care services.

Look for Additional Benefits

In a bid to attract more clients, insurance companies usually offer policies that have additional benefits apart from medical coverage. Based on this fact, it is wise to check the summary of benefits of each policy on your list until you find one that has your preferred scope of services. For instance, some policies provide better coverage for mental health and physical therapy care while others have more comprehensive emergency coverage.

Research Plan Structure

Once you have an estimate of your monthly premium, your next step is determining your ideal plan structure. Some of the most common plans are HMO, EPO, POS, and PPO. The plan that you select will determine which doctors you can see and your costs. More often than not, plans that have referrals, such as POS and HMO, require that you first consult a primary care physician before booking an appointment with a specialist. If you already have a network of doctors that you prefer to see, eschew plans that they do not take.

Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs

Your preferred health insurance plan should clearly indicate the services that you will be required to pay for and the amount. The sum amount includes coinsurance, co-pay, and deductible. A plan that has low out-of-pocket costs is an ideal choice if you regularly need emergency services, take expensive medications, have scheduled upcoming surgery, or were recently diagnosed with a chronic condition such as cancer or diabetes.

One of Health Insurance’s Best Kept Secrets

24Before I jump into explaining what critical illness insurance is, and why I personally believe it’s a good investment, let me first confess that before I began working for a health insurance brokerage, I had NO idea what critical illness insurance was.

When I first started my job with the health insurance brokerage, I would hear agents talking to customers about plans that offered tens of thousands of dollars in coverage, should they wind up with something like a heart attack or a stroke. I was baffled and many-a-time wondered, “Does my health insurance do that, too?”

The answer was no, because the insurance they were explaining was a critical illness plan, which is frequently bought along with a major medical or short-term health plan. All I had was one plan, a major medical plan. So no, I did not have it, but I’ll tell you why I think it’s a great thing to have in a minute.

How Does This Plan Work?

First, what does critical illness insurance do? In the event of a major illness, like a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, the plan will pay out a lump sum of cash for that covered illness. The money could go to a multitude of uses. It could of course be used to cover medical expenses, like co-payments, deductibles (which have been on the rise recently), out-of-network providers, and experimental treatments that aren’t always covered by insurance. Under the same umbrella, it could go toward any travel expenses associated with your condition. If you decide to seek care out of town, you could use the money for transportation or hotel accommodations for you and anyone traveling with you.

It could also be used to help you pay for your normal day-to-day expenses. If you get cancer, there’s a good chance you won’t be working, or won’t be working as much. That money can help pay what you would normally pay with your income- rent, utilities, car payment, credit card payments, etc. It seems that when we think about major illnesses, we think about how we would pay our medical bills and forget about all of the other bills that will still come due, regardless of our health.

Everyone’s First Question: The Cost

At this point, I know you’re probably thinking about how expensive it is just for a major medical health plan, let alone adding this on. Surprisingly, for the amount of coverage you get, it’s not a very high price. It’s nothing compared to paying your traditional premium for a major medical plan and prices will obviously vary depending on the coverage amount that you opt for.

Everyone’s Last Thought: The Reality

Thinking about a major illness plaguing your life isn’t something many of us spend time thinking about. It’s something we like to believe won’t happen to us, but the unfortunate reality is that no one who gets cancer or has a heart attack ever expects it. It’s a terrible situation all around, but the one of the best measures you can take is to be prepared should it happen. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you have a heart attack or cancer is your financial situation. Critical illness coverage will ensure that you can focus on what’s most important- your recovery!

Ensure Financial Stability By Picking The Best Health Insurance Policy

23With the rising medical cost, health insurance has become indispensable. Today, costs of medical treatment has reached at an all time high and are expected to rise even further. Absence of health insurance can cause a major setback to your financial condition. Medical emergencies like accidents, sickness or disease which may lead to prolonged hospitalization can bring you in severe financial crisis. A comprehensive health insurance individual policy provides coverage against the expenditure caused by unforeseen medical emergencies.

When it comes to buy a health plan for yourself, there are two common mistakes that people generally commit:

1. Often people don’t purchase an appropriate health policy at the right time. When met with an accident or any other disease, they come to realize their mistake and to over-compensate it they buy too much of insurance, which may or may not be that much useful for them.

2. A majority of professionals are provided medical insurance plans by their organizations. Employees are very much dependent on such covers to counter their health emergencies and fail to evaluate their health insurance requirements.

Importance of Personal Health Cover

1. Insurance Cover Provided By Present Health Care Policy

Most of the companies provide a basic health cover to its employees which may cover individuals from minor illness, giving a decent amount of coverage. Often this amount is insufficient in times of a major emergency. So, it is necessary that individuals prepare themselves for any health contingencies and get an health insurance individual policy.

2. Validity Of Insurance Provided By The Organization

The insurance plan provided by the organization is valid upto the time you are associated with the organization and lapses once you leave it. In case of retirement, job change or job loss, individuals have no health insurance cover and have to liquidate their assets or savings to meet any medical emergency. This may also affect their budget and further financial plans.

3. Tax Benefit

Opting a health cover also helps in tax saving. The amount paid for insurance premiums are eligible for tax deductions. Individuals with 65 years or below of age can claim a deduction of Rs 15,000 against the insurance premium paid for themselves, or for their parents, spouse or children.

Early Benefits

Buying a health insurance individual policy while one is young is cost-efficient and free from medical complications. Getting an insurance cover at an early age requires less premium and offers comprehensive coverage when compared to a health plan purchased at a relatively older age. The cost of the cover increases as the individual grows older. Besides, if one develops health issues, the insurance company excludes pre-existing conditions which demolish the purpose of buying a personal health insurance plan.

In addition, there are several insurance companies that set an upper age limit for their policies. This means the individual will have access limited options after retirement. Further, if the individual renews the insurance plan without asking for any claim, he can enjoy the profits of cumulative bonus in the form of no claim benefit.

Sahil Doshi is a prolific writer from New Delhi, has been contributing his reviews,experiences and guidelines related to general insurance policies. In this article he has focused over the importance of individual health insurance policy.