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Health Insurance Reviews

Selecting the Best Health Insurance Plan and Using Health Insurance Reviews & Ratings

Looking at health insurance plans can be an overwhelming task. Ultimately, you’re making an educated guess about what you’re health is going to look like for the next year and trying to figure out the best way to pay for the things that might happen. Whether you’re looking at the plans offered by your employer or considering the options on the open market, it’s smart to know how to really look at the various plans.

Policy Cost

The monthly premiums are often the first thing that consumers look at, and many people make a decision based on that alone. People who are generally healthy and paying for insurance out-of-pocket may be surprised by the perceived high costs. Even a plan with a high deductible can cost hundreds of dollars a month. Some plans are thousands of dollars a month. In general, the more you’re paying in monthly premiums, the less you’ll pay in actual costs when you get care.

Evaluating Doctors

Before making a commitment to a plan, take a look at the doctors that are available. If you already have a doctor you like, you’ll want to make sure that he or she takes the new insurance plan. Otherwise, it’s smart to check out the availability of doctors close to your home or your workplace. Online reviews can go a long way toward helping you understand what a particular doctor might be like, but you may find that asking your friends and family members for recommendations is even better. You also have the right to schedule an interview with the doctor to see if it’s a good personality match. It’s generally better to do this after you have insurance, though. Then you’ll only be paying the co-pay cost.

The Costs You Pay

This is where most people get confused about the health insurance plans. Whenever you see a doctor outside of your annual check-up appointments, you’ll have to pay a co-pay. This usually ranges from around $10 to $50, depending on the plan and the type of doctor you’re seeing. Going to your regular doctor when you’re sick is usually cheaper than going to the emergency room, for example. Policies often have a deductible, which is an amount of money that the consumer has to pay before insurance starts to pay for services. People who don’t go to the doctor often generally select plans with high deductibles, but may find that they struggle to pay it if something bad happens. Many insurance plans also require the subscriber to pay a co-insurance, which is a percentage of the cost. For example, if you have a 20 percent co-insurance, you’ll pay $200 for a service that usually costs $1,000.

Understanding Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can be helpful, but you should always take them with a grain of salt. For example, people who have a negative experience are far more likely to leave a review than the people who had positive experiences. Sometimes, the negative review is more about the person not understanding their policy’s limitations. In most cases, it’s relatively easy to change doctors, but you can only change health insurance providers once a year. Thus, you’ll want to focus on customer reviews with the insurance company more than reviews of doctors. Consider looking at the number of doctors available through the insurance company as well, as this means it will be easier to change doctors if you don’t like the one you originally choose.

Claims Handling

The way that the insurance company handles claims is important. Ideally, you’d like a company that handles claims quickly and doesn’t fight them. In the best case scenario, you won’t have to be a part of the process at all. The doctor submits the claim and the insurance company pays it. Unfortunately, sometimes the insurance company rejects the claim for some reason, and this is when you have to get involved. If you have a doctor already, you could ask the billing department if they’ve ever had problems with a particular insurance company. This is a good way to determine the good from the bad.

Customer Service

Many people are able to take advantage of their insurance policy without ever having to call the customer service department. However, you want to know that they’ll be there to answer calls should you need them. Test this out by calling the company and seeing how long you have to wait until you can talk with a representative. Some people prefer online chatting, so you might check to see if that’s an option with the companies you’re considering.

Overall Satisfaction

Ultimately, finding a good company for health insurance is all about the overall satisfaction rate. This is a combination of access to doctors in the local area, good value for the premiums paid and a positive overall experience with the doctors in the network and the customer services team handling the details related to the policy. When you find the right blend of these things, you’ll know you have a winning combination.