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How do I Choose the Best Medical Insurance Provider?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Although most Americans have employer-provided health insurance, a growing number are finding themselves responsible for choosing their own medical insurance provider. Whether you're temporarily out of work, self-employed, or retired before you became eligible for Medicare, purchasing your own medical coverage can seem like a very difficult task. If you set a firm budget, prioritize your health care needs, and do some careful comparison shopping, however, the job will be much easier.

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on your health plan is an important step in choosing the best medical insurance provider. If you have a general idea of what type of premiums you can afford, it will be easier to research the coverage options that are available. As a general rule, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) will cost more than a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) because it allows you more flexibility in choosing which doctors and specialists you wish to see. As with auto insurance, higher deductibles mean lower premiums. However, you need to consider how much you can realistically afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a serious accident or illness.

Before you choose a medical insurance provider, you'll need to spend some time thinking about what factors are most important to you. For example, if you're a woman who is thinking about starting a family soon, medical coverage for pregnancy and childbirth will be a necessity. If you have a young child at home, good coverage for emergency room visits might be an important consideration. Chiropractic care is another thing that many people feel is important, yet not all types of health insurance plans provide this benefit.

After you've set a budget and decided what your coverage priorities will be, it's time to get quotes from several different insurance providers. There are a number of websites offering comparison quotes for the major insurers in the United States. This will give you a good starting point for choosing the best medical insurance provider. You can also try doing your own research by directly calling companies recommended to you by family and friends who have purchased their own health insurance.

If you belong to any associations, such as a professional development organization or your college's alumni group, ask if they offer health insurance as a member benefit. In many cases, these policies will be more affordable than plans you can purchase as an individual. Sometimes, people may even choose to join an organization just to take advantage of the medical coverage benefit.

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