Healthcare maintenance organizations or health insurance organizations share a common purpose and that is to protect you financially against any illnesses or health related financial strains by shouldering the responsibility of your hospital and medical bills for a reasonable premium or price. Health insurance is one of the most important things that you must acquire. However, many people fail to realize its importance because nobody bothered to educate them about it. Some even end up paying premiums for plans that they don’t understand fully simply because they can’t say no to their agents.
Health insurance generally comes in two different forms, short-term health care or long-term health care. Short-term health care will only protect you for a certain period of time, generally only within a year. If you have a short-term plan, you will pay the premium annually for you to avail the benefits. Long-term health care, on the other hand, is a health care that will protect you for the rest of your life. Generally, long-term health care insurance is an investment. Ideally, long-term health care plans must not be used for short-term purposes because you can only fully enjoy it once you let it grow.
So, knowing the two different kinds of health insurance plans, what are the things that you must look at in order to compare different plans? Here are some things to consider.
1.) Reputation of the company. Whether its a short-term or long-term plan, the reputation of the company is very important. You are not simply putting your money to health care companies for safe keeping, you are paying them through premiums in order to avail the benefits that they offer. How to check whether a company is good or not? First is to check how long the company has been existing. Generally, companies that stay long enough are strong and good companies. Ideally, go for companies that is going strong after 20 or 30 years of existence. Second is to check how good and easy the processing is. Some good companies, despite their stability, don’t have good reputations in customer or client services. And lastly, if possible get to know what are they doing with the premiums. Chances are these companies invest the premiums in order to make it grow. Get to know where and what kind of investments are they venturing in or who handles the investments.
2.) Assess the specifics of the plans. Some plans have services that aren’t offered by other plans or companies. Check the services or specifics that different plans offer and find the one that suits you best. Ideally, short-term and long-term health care must be bought together. Short-term health care insurance for your immediate needs while long-term health care insurance for you retirement. Take note that long term health care is very important because only a very few companies offer health care beyond 60 years of age. Other than the services, also check the diseases that are covered. Plans also differ on the diseases that they cover. Though rare, some companies or plans even allow people with preexisting conditions to get a plan, but they generally come with a higher cost.
3.) Check the premium vs benefit ratio. Most of the time people don’t look at the coverage or benefit, but do look at the premium. They would prefer something that is of a lower premium and won’t really mind the benefit. Wrong. Check the premium to benefit or coverage ratio. For short-term plans, simply divide the coverage or benefit to the premium being paid. The higher the ratio, the better the plan, the bigger the coverage. However for long-term insurance, it is based on age. Since long-term health care takes time to grow because of its investment part, the earlier you start, the better. People who are below 30 years of age pay lesser than people who are at least 50 years of age for the same amount of coverage and kind of benefits.
4.) Accredited hospitals, clinics, and physicians. This is also very important. Hospitals, clinics, and physicians don’t want to run into trouble of not getting paid for consultations and services so that is why they would only want to accredit health insurance groups of good reputation. The more accreditations, the better. One simply way to check is to look at major hospitals and known physicians. Since there are a lot of physicians, hospitals, and clinics that are on the list, look for the known and really good ones. If they are on the list you can be assured that its a good insurance plan. If you have time, and are willing to exert a little effort, you can visit hospitals, clinics, and some physicians and ask what health care or insurance would they recommend. There is nothing more powerful than a word of mouth.
Having a health insurance program is very important because it can spare you from spending too much just in case you get sick. However, it would also be a waste of money if you buy any insurance that you don’t understand or don’t know its benefits. Educate yourself by taking a look at different health insurance proposals. The more proposals you review, the better your chances of getting the best one, and the best one that will suit your needs.