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8 Health Insurance Tips: Step by Step to the Right Medical Coverage

Getting the right type of health benefits for you, your family or your business is tricky. It all starts with getting health insurance quotes, then comparing the benefits and prices. You want the right balance of quality care, affordable prices and suitability of benefits for your needs. Read the eight tips below to find the medical plan that's right for you.

Green Arrow & Useful Tips
  • 1. Get Health Insurance Quotes

    Obtain a quote from an insurance broker or directly from the carrier. Premiums are regulated by the state so either way the prices are the same. Many find that going through an agent is helpful because you get added support at the same cost. Additionally, brokers are able to offer you quotes from multiple carriers.
  • 2. Consider Your Goals

    Are you looking for major medical health insurance coverage just to protect against the big stuff? Is maternity or pregnancy coverage important to you? Are you open to having a deductible in order to decrease the cost of your monthly premium? Is prescription drug coverage important? What is your budget? If you think through some of these questions ahead of time, it will help you narrow your search to get the right prices and benefits.
  • 3. Play Around with Family Groupings

    Certainly, it is more convenient to have all family members on the same type of plan. However, there are times when it is more cost-effective to find a customized policy for each family member. Since not everyone in a family has the same health care needs, play around with the coverage choices. Shop for a plan for each individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all option. Finding health coverage on a person-by-person basis enables each family member to have the benefits that suit their particular needs. Moreover, you won’t be paying for an expensive comprehensive policy for everyone when only one person needs the rich benefits.
  • 4. Consider Group Insurance

    Business owners can often get health benefits either privately or through their company. People with two or more children or newborns tend to get better rates through a group plan.
  • 5. Play Around with Zip Codes (if you can)

    If you are looking for a personal medical plan, do you have two residential addresses with two different zip codes? Health insurance rates are determined largely by age, but geographic area also comes into play. Try getting quotes with both zip codes and go with the zip code that provides the cheaper rates. If your two addresses are in the same general area, you may find that there is no difference in the rates.

    If you are shopping for a health plan for your company, is your business located at two addresses? Businesses are more tricky because the number of employees at each facility would affect which zip code you must use. Check with your insurance representative for the carriers’ requirements.
  • 6. Find the Sweet Spot as Far as Benefits and Cost

    Once you get your quotes, sort them by price; lowest to highest is my favorite. Then follow your eyes down the page and watch the benefits increase as the prices increase. When you get down to the highest prices that are still within your budget, look at the plans just above and below this area. You may want to choose a cheaper option to save some money, or you may want to go with a little more expensive selection because the benefits make it worth it.
  • 7. Get Free Live Support

    Agents are available to help you for free. There is no added cost. Call them. Email them. Or, go online and use live chat. Get your questions answered and use their expertise to help guide you to the plan that's right for you. The key is service! Find someone you like who is helpful for you, someone that is easy to reach by phone. Get a direct phone line, direct extension and direct email address. Also, don't be afraid to get information from different agents until you find the right agent and the right plan; then, you can reward that agent for their help by applying through them. When you apply through a certain agent, that agent will receive a commission from the carrier, and there will be no added cost to you.
  • 8. If You Don't Mind Switching Doctors, Go HMO!

    PPO policies tend to cost more because they offer more selection in doctors. If you have a family doctor that you just love, who doesn't take the HMO coverage, then you'll want to get a PPO Plan. However, if you are open to choosing a different doctor, you could save a lot of money without compromising on quality of care by going with HMO coverage from a company like Kaiser Permanente.