Purchasing medical insurance is not always an easy task. Trying to decipher between the best health insurance companies takes time and an understanding of what makes a good benefit plan. Between the different plan designs and carriers available, finding the right fit for you and your family is not an easy decision.
With the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or else face a fine/tax, there will be many people looking for the best place to buy coverage for their medical services. Here is what to look for when searching for the best health insurance companies.
A Network That Includes Your Doctor
Most health plans now include networks of doctors and facilities. These networks offer competitive pricing for medical services through discounts and less out of pocket expenses for the policyholder. If a provider is not in the network of your insurance plan, you will be required to pay more out of pocket through the health insurance plan. Plus, the doctor or facility can balance bill you, meaning they can bill you for charges not paid through your insurance plan. Whether you use Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, or any other of the multitude of health insurance companies, if you use a network provider, what you pay through your benefit plan will be all you owe.
The networks of the best health insurance companies can be investigated on their websites. Before signing up for a plan, make sure your doctor, hospital, lab, etc. are included in the potential network.
Great Customer Service
Since medical and prescription drug insurance plans are not the easiest contract to understand, you will undoubtedly have a question about your plan or how a claim was processed. The best health insurance companies will have a friendly and helpful customer service. This customer service should include an understanding of how your plan, and insurance in general works.
Sometimes, a claim will not be paid the way you think it should. The insurance company should give you an option to appeal, and if the appeal goes against you, they should be able to provide you with a clear explanation of why.
One of the services that the best health insurance companies are now incorporating into their services are mobile apps. These apps allow individuals and families to keep track of their claims, how much they owe for medical services, and how much they have paid out of pocket. The apps are free and easy to use.
Before you fall in love with an insurance plan that has a great premium, make sure that it has all of the necessary coverage for your medical needs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires minimum coverage in order to avoid the individual mandate penalty, but the minimum coverage isn’t a high bar to reach. Because of this, some companies are offering inexpensive plans that do not cover much. The best health insurance companies will give you a great price with great coverage.
Low Premiums and Renewals
The saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies in health insurance. However, that does not mean that you should ignore the premium. If you find a few plans that meet your medical needs and offer great customer service and networks, then by all means, factor in the premium. That’s what competition and the health insurance exchanges are all about.
Also, the best health insurance companies will not offer a low initial premium only to follow it up with a high renewal.