Choose the wrong health insurance coverage…and it can cost you thousands…
Making poor choices as you choose your Health insurance policy can be disastrous, both to your pocketbook and to your health. If you’re one of thousands of Michigan residents who need health insurance or need to maintain continuous coverage, make sure you get the information you need to avoid trouble.
Health care quality varies. To ensure you receive quality health care all areas involved must be evaluated carefully. These areas include doctors, hospitals, medical groups, and health insurance plans. The type of health insurance plan you have can and does affect the quality of service you receive.
For example, your physician may suggest certain tests to diagnose your condition. Your insurance may not cover the tests, or may determine they don’t think it’s necessary. Medical tests can be quite expensive…make sure you have the coverage you need. Doing your research before you make a final choice on which health insurance policy you get is the best way to avoid problems later.
Pitfalls to Avoid as You Select Your Health insurancePitfall #1. Not getting enough information. Many people in search of health insurance are uninformed. They’re not sure exactly what type of coverage they need…they simply know they need Health insurance. Not all health insurance policies are the same.
The amount of coverage, co-pay amounts, levels of coverage, and how claims are processed are items that can vary greatly. These items can be a great expense if you choose the wrong plan for your needs. The costs can be more than just money. Time and the quality of your health care can also suffer.
This can be especially true if you have chronic health problems and require regular visits to specialists. Don’t assume that just because your health insurance agent shows you a policy that it’s the one you need.
Today’s health care services cover more areas than ever before. Some health insurance policies cover most, some don’t. Take the time to match your needs to the policy that provides coverage in the areas that are important to you.
All Health insurance policies have sections defining what’s covered in each area of health care. You’ll want to make sure you review areas such as health screenings, physical exams, specialists’ care, emergency care, prescription coverage, dental, vision care, family planning, chiropractic, hospitalization, and alternative care coverage.
Pitfall #2. No Comparison. Just as you shop for the best price and quality for items like cars, clothing, groceries, and other monthly expenses, you should do the same when choosing your Health insurance policy. Common items to compare are coverage levels and co-pays for doctor visits, prescription medicine, hospital stays, and emergency health situations. Other items to consider will depend upon your current health status and your age.
For example, if pregnancy or family planning is in your future, you’ll want to compare policies to make sure you get the best coverage in those areas for your monthly premium. If you’re older and nearing retirement, these items won’t be important. Do your best to avoid coverage you’ll never use.
Pitfall #3. Monthly Budget versus Coverage. Many people sacrifice proper insurance coverage due to costs. It’s true that most of us must budget our monthly expenses. Health insurance can be a big portion of that budget. The idea that some coverage is better than nothing is true, but by shopping and talking openly with your Health insurance agent, you’ll be able to find the best policy for your budget and your health care needs.
Before you begin your search, it’s a good idea to list any questions or concerns you have regarding health insurance coverage. Whether you shop online or off, make sure you’re getting information and quotes from a licensed insurance agent. . Keep asking questions until you feel confident about making a good decision.
Get information from three or four health insurance providers. Compare costs, benefits provided, and ease of filing claims.
Pitfall #4. Not being prepared. Once you’ve narrowed your policy options down to one or two policies, it is very important to understand how your policy coverage is implemented. You should make sure you know exactly what is required of you in certain medical situations. Situations like: Do I need a referral to see medical specialists? Must I get approval for specific lab tests before the tests are done? What steps should I take when emergency care is required?This one pitfall can heavily affect your out of pocket health care costs. Make sure you understand exactly what you need to do in these situations before they occur.
By taking the time to avoid these pitfalls you can feel confident in your choice of Health insurance selection. You can also relax and know that you’ll be prepared when you need to use your health insurance. Protect the health and well being of you and your loved ones….take the time now…before it’s too late.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Ip is president of Uniforce Insurance, which she founded in 1994, in Madison Heights, Michigan. For more information regarding health insurance in Michigan, visit http://www.uniforceinsurance.com or call 888-302-RATE