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Five Key Questions To Ask When Shopping For Insurance
Support for buying an alternative to COBRA.
Shopping for an insurance plan can be a daunting task and it is incredibly important to know what to ask so that you can ensure you are getting the type of coverage you want. Its critical that you understand the ins and outs of the plan you are choosing, as well as the costs. The first step of this process should always involved researching multiple plans by getting free online insurance quotes and from there you should follow up with a direct phone call or visit to the company. Make sure to ask these questions whenever you are considering an insurance plan. They will help you to ensure you find the right plan for your household.
- Are you licensed to provide insurance in my state of residence?
Many people are surprised to learn that not all insurance companies are licensed to provide health insurance in every state and every year hundreds of bogus insurance companies provide false coverage to thousands of people, leaving them stuck with expensive medical bills. In order to ensure that the company you choose is licensed in your state and has a strong reputation, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioner's Website.
- How much are my monthly premiums? Will these premiums change?
The monthly premium is one of the most important thing to consider when choosing a health insurance plan you can afford. Make sure that you understand exactly what your monthly premium is, as well as exactly what coverage you have. Also, monthly premiums are subject to change so make sure to get a written document that guarantees your premium for a set amount of time as well as how much it can increase over time.
- How much are my co-payments? Deductibles?
Deductibles and co-payments can eat up a large amount of money if you don't truly understand the inner workings of your plan. A deductible lays out the amount of money you must pay before your insurance begins to cover costs. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, you must pay the first $500 of any medical cost that you incur. A co-payment is the amount you pay anytime you go to the doctor's office, fill a prescription, visit the emergency room, and more. This generally range from $25-$50 in most plans, but again without understanding these costs your plan might be much more expensive than you realized.
- What is the length of the policy I am purchasing?
Health insurance policies have varying length terms and generally come in two forms - short term and long term. Short term insurance provides short term policies, generally 6-12 months that must be renewed at the end of the policy. The important thing to know about short term insurance is that if you develop a condition during one period of coverage, it likely will not be covered if you renew. Long term policies, are generally the best option, because they last indefinitely and do not put you in danger if you develop a health condition. However, these plans are more expensive.
- Do I qualify for COBRA?
Is that a better option for me? Depending on your situation, you may qualify for COBRA insurance and be able to continue your current health insurance after losing your job. COBRA insurance provides a continuation of care and you will not experience any change or lapse in care which is an important benefit to many people. To learn more about COBRA insurance, visit out COBRA insurance guide. To learn more about alternatives, visit our COBRA alternatives page.