Helpful tips for health insurance first-timers


In case you are not familiar with the market of insurance in general and healthcare coverage in particular, it can be quite confusing at first. But do not worry, as it is far simpler than you may think. Here’s a short recap of the most important things to know when shopping for health coverage plans. Of course, it’s not that profound to make an insurance specialist out of you in a single read, but it sure will help you find a decent policy with good coverage and low price.

Your options

Individual health policies – it is the most obvious option for most people, especially when not provided with healthcare coverage through their employers. You can find many insurance companies providing individual health plans. There are different regulations in every state regarding individual health coverage so make sure to learn more about your state before actually getting the policy. The best source for this information is your state’s insurance department.

High risk pools – these specific pools are the best solution in case you have been denied ordinary individual insurance due to a pre-existing condition. Not all states have high risk pools, but if your state allows them you will want to look better into this option. They typically have higher rates if compared to usual individual coverage, but it’s far better than having no healthcare coverage at all.

HIPAA coverage – in case you have recently been canceled of a job-base group plan and all COBRA coverage does not apply to you anymore, there’s a thing called HIPAA coverage that may be useful to you. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) coverage is available in all states and can be of a use for people who can’t get individual coverage due to pre-existing conditions. This way HIPAA coverage is a good option in states where high risk pools do not exist. But even if there are high risk polls in your state you should consider both possibilities. Consult with your insurance agent to see what’s more appropriate in your case.

Whom to address

Insurance agents – an insurance agent is the person that will connect you with the insurance company, so it’s better to ask him or her about your options. But before you ask questions, make sure the agent is licensed for providing health insurance in your state. To do so, you can address your state insurance department and check the status of the agent you’ve been talking too. If the person is licensed, their experience in the domain can help you find good health coverage.

Department of insurance – besides giving information about state regulation and agents’ license, your state insurance department can also be a very valuable source of information on the whole health insurance market in your state. Don’t expect any recommendations to be made, though, as the workers are restricted from making any commercial claims. Use the department as your info source to know what companies are working in your area and then contact them directly.

Websites – there are many websites dedicated to health insurance out there and they can be a very good source of information to use. Many sites also provide free online quotes and state-specific data so you won’t have any problems with finding the right deal from a local provider.

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