STEPS TO PURCHASING HEALTH INSURANCE
Step 1: Find out the insurance plans accepted by existing providers.
Some of you may have a primary care physician or specialists whom you like and want to see constantly. If that is the case, call their offices and ask them the plans they prefer, the other plans they accept, and if they intend to change the insurance they accept in the future. Calling the providers directly is more practical than knowing from insurance companies if your providers are within the network. It also allows you to obtain the most recent information and upcoming changes.
Not all providers accept the same insurance. Hence, ask them about their cash and out-of-network rates to figure out if you need to select an insurer which only has some of our providers in their coverage. Also, ensure any prescription drugs you take regularly are included in the plans you are considering, especially if it is costly or has no generic substitutes.
Step 2: Check your options.
In case an employer does not give a health insurance, a person can obtain one either from the government market or the private market.
Visit HealthCare.gov to know the options available. Enter your zip code and you will be redirected to your state’s health insurance exchange. Some states do not have their own exchange, so you may go to the marketplace facilitated by the federal agency in the same website. You need to provide the following details to apply for an exchange-based plan: home and/or mailing address, household size, information about every person applying for coverage, Social Security Numbers, and employer and income information, among other details. When you obtain a plan through the exchange, you may be qualify for a subsidy to help repay your insurance premiums, depending on their prerequisites.
In some cases, you can use the exchange after the open enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event, including getting married, or having a child. You lose the existing coverage due to divorce, layoff, or other qualifying reason. For instance, you need to obtain an insurance and you do not meet one of the requirements, that’s the time you need to go to the private health insurance market and secure a short-term plan.
Step 3: Assimilate choices in the private market.
Check health insurance company sites or use comparison shopping sites to determine what your options are. Upon providing your personal information, the sites will present several plan choices and its details, including monthly premium payment, out-of-pocket maximum, and covered prescription drugs.
Step 4: Seek professional help.
Consider talking to an insurance broker if you are too busy, the options overwhelm you, or you cannot find a good option shopping on your own. The fee of an insurance broker is not that expensive, unless you get the services of a captive insurance agent. Brokers are paid by commission from the insurance firm whose plan you purchase. The plan may even be cheaper if you obtain it through a broker than buy it on your own.
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