Health Insurance Coverage Insider Tips

Choosing medical insurance coverage isn't most people's idea of fun. Insurance policies can be confusing and intimidating--a frightening combination for such an important product. Following are several tips to help you better understand this valuable coverage:

What is Your Cost Beyond the Insurance Premium?

The first dollars you allocate for your medical insurance will pay for the premium. But most of the time the costs don't stop there. Most insurance policies contain a breakdown of the individual costs you are responsible for based on services rendered.

For example, many health insurance plans contain separate deductibles for emergency room visits and routine exams. Frequently called "co-payments," these out-of-pocket expenses should be a key factor in your decision-making regarding which plan to purchase. Review your medical policy and study information on co-payments, deductibles and coinsurance. This practice will help you understand just how much protection you are getting for your premium dollars.

Review theInsurance Plan's Provider Network

Most medical insurance plans offer a network of healthcare providers who have established business relationships with the insurance company. When reviewing this network ask these important questions:

  1. "Are my current doctors in the network?"
  2. "Does the network include a significant number of providers in my area?"
  3. "Are all of the local hospitals and/or emergency-care providers in my area included in the network?"
  4. "Does the network include pharmacies or providers of discounted prescription drugs?"

Also, not everyone becomes sick or gets injured at home. Be sure to review how your policy will apply if you get sick or are injured while traveling on business or during vacation.

Pre-existing and Other Medical Conditions

Health insurance plans specifically define how they address coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Paying for a policy that does not extend coverage to a pre-existing condition is a frequent source of frustration for people who don't review their policy's terms.

In addition, be sure to review specific conditions that you or a member of your family are concerned about. For example, if your eyesight is okay now but both of your parents are legally blind, there's a better-than-average chance your vision will deteriorate over time. A policy that extends coverage for routine vision care may not seem essential today but should be addressed in order to avoid a pre-existing condition limitation down the road.

More Tips for Health Insurance

With health insurance, there always seems to be something you missed. Read more tips about what to consider when choosing an insurance policy.

Prescription Coverage and Your Insurance

People often overlook the type of prescription coverage that is a part of their insurance policy. Prescription medication can be very expensive, and without some type of prescription coverage in place, you could be stuck with a much larger bill than you expected to pay. Some insurance policies offer a generic option where you can buy the generic version for less, while other insurance plans have full prescription coverage to help with medication costs.

Wellness and Preventive Programs

Many health insurance plans now offer what are known as wellness or preventive healthcare programs. These usually include affordable preventive healthcare screenings, reimbursement for health club memberships, and discounts for stress reducing activities, such as yoga classes. Improve your health and save money on your insurance with one of these programs.

Take the first step to choosing the right health insurance company for you -- get your free health insurance online quotes today!