What Should A Good Health Insurance

A good health insurance policy should be issued by a reputable insurance company that has a good reputation and has a large network of doctors and hospitals in your area. This policy should not be considered a “limited benefit” or “discount” plan and benefits, limits and exclusions should all be clearly defined in the contract you receive.

What about the rate you pay? Actually, that will be quite different from one part of the country to another. Often, rates in the Midwest are less than rates in the East or Far Western part of the US. Sometimes the difference can be as much as 25%-60%. Naturally, it’s important that the price that you are paying is among the lowest offers you have in your area.

To find out how competitive your cost is, you’ll have to compare what you pay to other similar policies. Unless, you are very experienced in reading and researching health care contracts, you may want to rely on an independent agent that is local or licensed in your state. It will save you many hours of frustration!

One of the most important virtues of your policy is quite simple. Does it provide coverage for the items you need protected most? If you feel you are willing to pay for smaller claims such as office visits and diagnostic tests, how well does it protect you against the massive bills for catastrophic events? Or, if you have multiple dependents under age four, with a possibility of a few more to be added to your policy, does the plan you are going to buy have unlimited non-preventive office visit coverage or is there a cap for usage?

Also, many individual and family health care contracts that are privately purchased, may limit specific items, such as the type of prescription you can use, the number of covered chiropractic visits, or perhaps the extent of mental illness benefits that are included. Before accepting an offer, it’s critical to fully comprehend not just the main features of the policy, but also the specific provisions regarding items that are NOT going to be covered. You don’t want to be surprised when you later make a claim.

Of course, you can have the best health insurance policy in the world, but if you can’t use the provider network, the coverage is essentially useless. Here’s why: If a visit to your family physician normally costs about $125, by using your health care plan, you’ll pay about $20-$40. If it’s a preventive visit, you’ll pay nothing. However, if your provider is not “in-network,” you’ll have to pay the entire bill without any reimbursement from the insurer.

There are exceptions when you use non-network facilities. For example, if it is an emergency, and you are rushed to the ER and have subsequent surgery, usually, the health insurer allows you to use your network coverage. Obviously, with sudden treatment like this, you have no control over where you are taken and of course, which facility treats you. However, an elective surgery would be treated differently.

And finally, always carefully read the exclusions. While most policies have fairly similar items that are not covered, occasionally, there will be noticeable differences. Does your policy cover chiropractor visits? This would be important if you have had back issues in the past. What type of prescriptions is NOT included? Is ambulance and air transportation benefits sufficient?