Acquiring Missouri health insurance isn't as straightforward or simple as most Missourians would like it to be. Independent as always, the state of Missouri has taken a hands-off approach when it comes to health care and regulating health insurance providers. That being the case, the responsibility for finding quality health insurance and negotiating affordable rates lies squarely on the shoulders of residents of the Show-Me State. Consequently, it's vital that you know what you're doing if you're shopping for health insurance in Missouri.
The State of Health Insurance in Missouri
Making things even more challenging is the current condition of Missouri health insurance. According to the Commonwealth Fund's 2009 State Scorecard on Health System Performance, the health care system in Missouri could use a tune-up. The State Scorecard, which evaluates the health care system in each state based on ease of access to health care, prevention and treatment strategies, avoidable hospital use and costs, availability of equitable health care, and healthy living rates, ranks Missouri's health care system 36th in country, behind 34 other states and the District of Columbia. Even more disappointing is the fact that Missouri dropped 5 places from its 31st place ranking in the 2007 study to the 2009 ranking of 36th. What's behind Missouri's disappointing finish? The prime suspects are a health care system that favors insurance providers, and a populace that is unacquainted with proven strategies for obtaining the best possible value for health insurance, not just the cheapest premiums.
Know What You're Up Against with a Missouri Health Insurance Quote
What do we mean when we say that Missouri's health care system favors providers? To make a long story short, there are no guarantees when it comes to securing health care coverage in the Show-Me State. Insurance providers are free to deny you coverage for any reason, and can exclude pre-existing conditions from your policy at their leisure. About the only protection that Missourians have as consumers is that once you are approved for a policy, you can't be summarily dropped unless you don't pay premiums or it's found that you falsified information when you filled out the application.
Free Enterprise and Your Missouri Health Insurance Quote
What's the end result of this laissez-faire approach to health care? At the risk of oversimplifying things, many Missourians feel like they are being forced to make a decision between inadequate health care (i.e. accepting policies that exclude certain health conditions), or paying higher than average premiums for higher quality care. The truth is another animal altogether: free-market policies work both ways. That being the case, the key to getting a high quality Missouri health insurance quote is as easy as seizing the initiative, knowing what you want, and working the system in your favor.
Taking Control of Your Missouri Health Insurance Future
Since health insurance needs and wants vary so widely, it's impossible to make any blanket recommendations for certain plans, policies, or coverages. Utilizing consumer resources at the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, & Professional Registration is a good place to start, as is taking advantage of resources provided by national organizations like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Once you figure out your health insurance needs, the only question left is how the average Joe Missouri should go about securing the best possible value for health insurance in the Show-Me State. The answer is surprisingly simple: shop around. The more providers you talk to as you explore your Missouri health insurance quote options, the better. Getting multiple quotes allows you to pick the brains of a host of industry professionals, and it allows you to compare the premiums, plans, coverages, and services of different providers. Whether you use a free online quote provider like netQuote.com, or choose to do all that legwork on your own, comparison shopping is far and away the most proven way to tip the scales in your favor in the Show-Me State.