How to Find the Best Health Insurance Companies With the Best Rates

The best health insurance companies aren’t necessarily those with the highest premiums or the catchiest advertisements. The best company for you is the one that offers the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

Whether this means you look at bare-bones HMO plans, or policies with full medical, dental, and vision coverage for everyone in your family, the choice is up to you.

What Are Your Choices?

If you’re buying into a group policy through your employer, your insurance choices are limited to what your employer offers. But if you’re buying your own policy, you can design one specifically suited to your needs.

Maybe you just need a short term policy to cover you for a few months. Maybe you’re in good health and just want a major medical policy to cover you for accidents and major illnesses. Maybe you’re looking at HMOs and PPOs to save some money, or a high-deductible plan coupled with a health savings account. Your choices are nearly limitless.

Finding the Best Health Insurance Company

Once you know what kind of health insurance you want, you can start looking at specific policies. The fastest and easiest way to get and compare quotes from different insurance companies is to go to an insurance comparison website.

The best comparison sites even let you talk with insurance experts so you can ask questions and make sure you choose the best health insurance for your needs at the best price. (See link below).

You can also use websites to check out the insurance companies that send you quotes. At sites such as A.M. Best (ambest.com) and Standard and Poor’s (standardandpoors.com), you can check the financial rating of each company. In addition, you can check customer complaints for different companies at your state’s Department of Insurance website.

The cost of health care goes up every year, and so does the cost of health insurance. That’s why this is a crucial time to find the best health insurance policy you can.

Health Insurance Companies Aren’t Gouging Us? Take a Look at the Numbers

The much-maligned health insurance industry has not always deserved the contempt it receives. These companies are usually accused of caring only for profits, but those profits are not as great as most of us imagine. There is room for some improvement in the industry, but such improvements will not reduce health costs significantly. A clear understanding of your policy will go far to reduce the hostility many feel towards this essential industry.

Most commercial health insurance companies have three objectives: collect dollars from premiums, pay off overhead with what’s collected, pay off claims, and have about 3 to 6 percent of the total collected remaining as net profit. This profit goal is relatively modest. Americans pay $2 trillion dollars a year on health care, including the operating costs and profits of health insurance companies. This averages out to approximately $6,551 for each man, woman and child in the United states, or approximately $537 a month. At a 6 percent profit, the industry is earning $120 billion a year. This averages out to $387 a year, or $310 million in total from what Americans pay towards the insurance companies’ profits, or $32 a month. A mere 5 percent of what you pay each month for health insurance goes to the profits of the insurer. You pay that percentage to a taxi cab driver as a tip. Obviously, the health insurance companies are not charging their customers an excessive percent of the total for health insurance. Yes, they are in it for the money, but they’re not gouging us.

All organizations have some leakage of cash, and the health insurance industry is no exception. Their organizations spend a great deal on administrative costs, streamlining their operations, and increasing efficiency of operations. All this may go to reduce their operating expense and thus, the cost of insurance for us, but we can’t expect significant savings here.

Yet the new Health Reform law is requiring health insurance companies to spend 80 percent of those $2 trillion on medical treatments. That means they’ll have $400 billion left over. Subtracting their profits ($120 billion), they’ll have $280 billion to cover overhead. If they are able to reduce operation costs by just 1 percent, or $2.8 billion, and turn that into premium reductions, the $537 each person now pays is then reduced to $528, a savings of $9 a month or a savings of $108 a year. Although every penny counts these days, these numbers aren’t too significant to most of us.

Health insurance companies have been mandated by the new Health Reform Law to modify some of their policies, which may raise the cost of insurance. They are now prohibited from dropping people from insurance while they are sick. Now, they cannot deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. They can no longer impose a cap on the amount they will pay during a person’s lifetime. In 2011 they have to start paying 80 percent of their earnings towards medical treatment. In 2014 they can no longer refuse to sell policies to anyone, with or without a pre-existing condition, and the price they set for policies can’t be based on the customer’s health condition. So, by 2014, no one will be excluded from obtaining health insurance in the United States.

These measures, particularly the provision that doesn’t allow insurance companies to deny insurance based on a person’s health status, will go a very long way in reducing our overall health care costs. With universal coverage, many illnesses can be cured in their early stages, thus avoiding the most expensive treatments, those in the emergency room.

All of us should pursue a clearer understanding of the purpose of health insurance companies. They are not humanitarian, non-profit organizations, but businesses with the objective of making a profit. Much of the misunderstanding is fostered when an ailing patient is told by the insurer that their medical requirements are not covered by their policy. It is therefore absolutely imperative that you’re clear about what your policy will cover before you enter into an agreement for coverage. Nobody likes to spend money needlessly, but when it comes to spending money on your health, without an insurance company, you could do worse. Know your policy and expect health insurance companies to strictly abide by it. Whether we like it or not, we can’t do without them, and they can’t do without us. You’ll appreciate them most when that $13 thousand dollar bill comes in following a brief visit to the emergency room, and you don’t have to pay a dime. Then spend or save that $13 thousand for your future needs, such as college or retirement!

Find an Affordable Health Insurance Company in 3 Easy Steps

Are you looking for an affordable health insurance company? Almost everyone needs health coverage, and they need a plan that meets their family’s needs, covers the services they need most, and fits into their budget. While some people think they should be able to find a single insurance company that has more affordable rates than others, that’s not exactly how the process works. Insurance companies generally have more than one offering. They provide lots of different insurance plans. Some are basic, no frills plans at the lowest cost. Others provide more coverage for a wider range of needs and therefore cost more.

Here are three steps to follow to discover an affordable health insurance company to meet your specific needs:

1. Determine how big the insurance company is. Companies with more members have more negotiating power when it comes to getting rates for working with doctors and hospitals. They are able to get lower rates for the services you use, and as such, they can charge you lower rates for your insurance coverage. Conversely, smaller insurance companies don’t have that same bargaining power and must often pay more for the same services. As a result, you pay more, too.

2. Get quick quotes and compare plans. Via the Internet, you can get quick quotes on insurance plans from multiple companies. Certain websites include tools called quote engines, which will let you get multiple quotes and then compare them side-by-side. It’s as simple as plugging in your zip code and filling out a few choices. In a matter of about 10 seconds, you’ll get a list of quotes. By comparing the plans and opting for ones that only provide for the services you need and desire, you can save the cost of unneeded services and get a much more affordable health insurance plan that meets your requirements. (For instance, men do not need maternity coverage.)

3. Research the company. Before you actually select and pay for a health insurance plan, make sure the affordable health insurance company you select has a good reputation. You can find out how current customers have rated the company and the plan. Look around to get some feedback. You want to know that your affordable health insurance company is also a reputable one.

Saving Money With Your Insurance Coverage

In addition to saving money on your insurance premiums, there are things you can do to help save even more money on medical expenses. Here are a few tips:

* Contact multiple providers to find out the prices on particular services and procedures. Some providers offer much better pricing than other facilities for the exact same procedure.

* Reserve emergency room visits for absolute emergencies. Otherwise, go to the walk-in clinic or call for a regular appointment with your physician.

* Utilize home remedies for common ailments before going to a physician. See if they work first.

* Don’t get x-rays every single visit to the dentist. You really only need x-rays once every one or two years.

* Utilize a mail order service for prescription medications.

* Always ask if there is a generic prescription medication available and get that instead of the name brand if possible.

* Opt for a higher deductible on your health insurance plan. Your premiums will be lower and, if you don’t use health insurance services often, you’ll come out ahead financially at the end of the year.

* Pay premiums annually. You can often get a discount versus making monthly payments that may include a service fee.

* Go to the local free clinic when you can.

Finding an affordable health insurance company is one step toward ensuring your family’s health needs are met in accordance with your budget. When combined with these additional tips, you can manage your health expenses even better.