Published On: Wed, Jan 23rd, 2013

How Not To Get Ripped Off When Buying Health Insurance

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How Not To Get Ripped Off When Buying Health InsuranceIn today’s economy everyone want to find the best health insurance plan possible. Many people are loosing their jobs or having benefits cut as companies try to save money. More and more people are trying to find health insurance through private providers. If this is you, do you really know what you are looking for? Do you know what questions to ask?

Unfortunately there are companies that will try and rip you off by forcing or coercing you into a “plan” that isn’t right for you. If you are in the process of looking for health insurance, consider the following.

1. Don’t jump in too fast

Everyone will try to convince you that their plan is the best. Take time and shop around a little. Get quotes from several different insurance providers so you can weigh your options.

2. Pre-existing conditions

This is one of the most common ways health insurance companies will rip you off. These basically include any illness or health problem you had before the insurance company covered you. If these illnesses span a long period of time or were diagnosed before you were covered some insurance companies will refuse to pay for any appointments relating to them. Make sure you ask about this before making a decision.

3. Prescription medications

Companies will also rip you off by not covering these or by stopping coverage of them at certain points in your plan. Often when you renew a plan they will convince you to sign a cheaper one that doesn’t include prescriptions.

4. Premiums and deductibles

Some companies don’t tell their clients that premiums and deductibles will rise over time. Make sure to ask about the cost of the monthly premium, deductible, co-payment amount and cap before you buy it. Also ask how changing one amount might affect the others. Remember to be especially careful when you renew your plan.

5. What healthcare providers accept the plan?

Don’t assume that all doctors and healthcare professionals will accept your insurance. Make sure to get a list of doctors that accept it before buying any plan. Also make sure to find out how to obtain emergency care. Ask if you will be able to use urgent facilities without pre-approval. Nothing would be worse than showing up for medical help and not being able to receive it because you’re not covered.

6. Other Questions

Other questions you want to be sure to ask are: Does the coverage begin immediately or do I have to wait? Is there a lifetime maximum cap the insurer will pay? Is preventive care, immunizations, and mammograms covered?

In conclusion, simply be thorough in your research. Know exactly what you want and need before you even start considering choosing a plan. The fine print is not something you want to skim over in this situation. To further prevent being ripped off, talk to someone who is already on the plan or research it online. If there are problems with it people will voice their dissatisfaction.

About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finances. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching online dispute resolution.

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