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What are the best health insurance companies?

The best health insurance companies may not necessarily be a particular “brand” name, but the best health insurance plan will be the one that fits your lifestyle and your budget. No one health insurance company is best for everyone so it can pay off to know the basic principles of what makes a good health insurance company. Once you have assessed your health insurance needs and researched your options, then it will be time to get quotes.

To begin, make a checklist of what your needs are for health insurance. Do you just need to take of yourself? Do you have a spouse or children? How often do you or your family members require health care services? Don’t forget to consider eye and dental care as well. Another important consideration is how much flexibility do you want as far as choosing your health care providers? Are you willing to use predetermined providers or do you prefer the freedom of choosing your own?

For most people, employer-sponsored health insurance plans are the easiest and least expensive options. If you or your spouse is lucky enough to have a health insurance plan through an employer, you may not even consider another plan. Take a little time to look around anyway. Many healthy individual can find they save money by not being included with a higher risk pool, which is what happens in work sponsored offers. Also, as mentioned earlier, you may want to add eye or dental coverage if it’s not offered with your medical benefits.

Sometimes employers offer different options even within the company plan. You may have a choice between traditional Fee for Service Plans (FFS), Point of Service Plan (POS), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Whether you are choosing an employer-sponsored plan or picking an individual policy, a quick lesson is helpful to choose the best health insurance company for you.

Fee for Service Plan (FFS)

FFS plans are becoming less common and are a more traditional and straightforward plan whereby you choose your own providers and pay your bill at the time of service. They are also referred to as indemnity plans. The real drawback to this is that you have to file your own claims and wait for reimbursement. Many folks find it more convenient to let their provider file the claim and then pay the balance.

Point of Service Plans (POS)

POS plans combine traditional coverage with some aspects of managed care. With a POS, you have the savings of an HMO, but more freedom to choose an outside provider. You will have to select your primary care physician (PCP) from the POS list, and as your PCP he will refer you to any specialist you need. If you are in a POS plan and prefer to use a caregiver of your own choice, you will be responsible for payment of services with no reimbursement.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

A PPO may be the best health insurance choice for someone who wants freedom of choice and good coverage. In a PPO, you are required to pick your providers from a list (usually quite extensive) to have the full coverage of your plan. But, as an option, you are allowed to choose a provider not on the list. By choosing this option, a lesser percentage of your bill is covered, but you have the freedom of using a provider you prefer. For instance, if you just don’t want to change your dentist, you can receive services from him or her, but they will be covered at a lower rate.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

An HMO is one of the best healthcare insurance programs if you are not concerned about using a particular provider. Traditionally, HMOs work on the premise of preventive care and require that you see one provider for all your healthcare needs. If you need a specialist, your primary provider will do a referral. While for some people this may seem too restrictive, others are attracted to the low premiums and minimal (if any) co-pay, no claim forms or paperwork and no plan limits or deductibles.

Other Options

If you don’t have employer-sponsored healthcare coverage and are young, single, self-employed or just don’t use insurance that often, you might want to consider a High Deductible Health Plan (HDPD). An HPD, often referred to as a catastrophic health plan, generally offers much lower premiums in return for a higher deductible and co-pay. For single coverage your deductible will be $1,100 per year and a family plan would require a $2,200 deductible per year. This is often the best healthcare plan for someone who rarely needs medical attention.

Using an Agent

Some people think that the best health insurance plan for them is the one with the least expensive monthly premiums. This can be a short-sighted viewpoint. If you still have questions, then speak with an agent about different ways to find low cost health insurance. There is also a quote tool, provided at no charge, where you can get a variety of quotes from some great providers.

Compare the Best Health Insurance Companies

Now that you’ve got some criteria for deciding what are the best health insurance companies for you, it’s time to act. Before choosing coverage for yourself and your family just because it’s “cheap,” see if you can get more coverage for your money by requesting a health insurance quote from many different companies at the top of this page. Why not start comparing health insurance benefits now?

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