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Your Guide to Buying Individual Health Insurance

Edward Neeman | Published: June 14, 2018

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Finding the right health insurance plan can be a daunting task, especially if it's your first time finding a health insurance plan on your own, but don't worry, First Quote Health is here to help! Whether you just turned 26 years old and are getting kicked off of your parents' plan, or you just got laid off and need health coverage, this step by step guide will give you the tools you need to find a health insurance plan like a seasoned professional.

First and foremost, why do you need health insurance? Well, the answer is simple. If you are seeking medical attention, even for a routine checkup, and don't have health coverage, you could end up paying an arm and a leg. Medical costs are more expensive now than they have ever been, which is where health insurance comes into play. Big health insurance companies pull all the premiums their members pay into one giant pool and use those funds to pay for people's medical bills. They gamble on the fact that they will receive more money from their members than they will pay out, which benefits you.

While there are plenty of different parts to your health coverage, the thing that you need to know is that purchasing health insurance can end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars on unforeseen medical expenses. So don't be thrown off by that $200 monthly premium, because $2,400 a year is a small amount to pay in the event you need a life-saving surgery that costs over $100,000. 

How to Choose a Health Insurance Quote

First, sit down and take a look at what your individual health insurance needs are. You need to evaluate if you are adequately covered by your current insurance plan, if you have one, and if you had any major life changes. For example, is there a new addition to your family, or were you recently diagnosed with a chronic disease? If your situation has changed, then it's highly likely that your health insurance needs have changed as well. If nothing 

After this, you need to research on the kind of coverage that you want. There are different types of insurance out there like temporary insurance that might not cover you satisfactorily. It is essential to consider the whole package instead of just looking solely at your monthly health insurance premiums. Get clarity on whether there are benefits like annual and lifetime payouts that you get as part of the package you intend to choose. You need to know that these gains are not capped. For instance, some health insurance quotes only have set fees for treatment, while others do not have benefits for medication. Other health insurance plans will cap their payout, which may leave you paying money for illnesses you thought were covered. It is also essential to know the excluded benefits and to seek clarification on what might be excluded but is not on the list.

When taking insurance, it is also important to realize that you might have to incur other out-of-pocket costs in accessing healthcare services. You also need to know the maximum that you need to spend in a year to avoid future headaches.

For most health insurance providers, you need to pay some money before your insurer pays for your healthcare needs. This is called a deductible, and it is vital to know everything about your insurance provider's deductibles before committing to their policies. Some providers require a single deductible while others need multiple deductibles. For instance, you could be planning to insure your family without realizing that your provider expects you to pay a deductible for all the family members. This could make you vulnerable to some extent.

When filling out insurance forms, make sure you disclose all details. Sometimes insurance companies refuse to pay arguing that they need to be notified of all preexisting conditions. Do not give an insurer reason not pay. Study the clauses thoroughly and seek several options before you settle on one package.

How to Choose an Insurance Agent or Broker

As you now plan to purchase your selected insurance quote, you need to ensure that the company is a legitimate agent or broker. If there is someone who you trust, like a family member or friend, start by asking them who their agent is and about their experience, because they will be able to give you great insight. You can also look through the National Association of Health Underwriters who can help you find insurance companies and their agents. Check the company certificate of coverage and have someone else look at it for you.

The best place to find a qualified and experienced health insurance is actually online. The internet will provide you with easy access to health insurance agents and brokers in your area, along with reviews from people they have already helped get coverage. Sites like First Quote Health makes it easy for you to find seasoned health insurance agents and brokers in your area just by entering your zip code and answering just a couple questions. The process takes just a couple of minutes and is free to use!

How to Buy Individual Insurance

Buying health insurance without an agent is possible, however, it can be tricky. There are a lot of parts that you need to be familiar with because just looking at the premium price can be deceiving, especially if you have an extensive history. Make sure you are familiar with the health insurance lingo and have a good idea of how things work. For example, low costing premiums typically result in high deductibles. If you choose to opt for the cheaper health insurance plan, realize you still may have to pay $5,000 if a medical emergency comes up. 

If you aren't familiar with the world of health insurance it's recommended that you use an agent or broker. Health insurance agents and brokers are free to use because they earn their commissions from the health company you sign up with, which means they really do want to find a plan that works for you. First Quote Health lets you instantly compare the best rates find the best agents in your area.