Nobody wants to imagine a lifestyle where you are constantly bombarded by medical health bills, especially when you appear perfectly healthy. But, here is the thing about life – it is predictably unpredictable, giving room to polarizing events that can put your health in complete jeopardy.
Despite living a healthy lifestyle, your health can become severely compromised in lieu of inevitable emergencies. While medical emergencies might be impossible to prevent from occurring, you can choose a health insurance company to help keep your medical bills at bay.
With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the USA, providing healthcare duly for your family and friends became a necessity apart from a luxury.
Many uninsured and law-abiding Americans took the first leap in taking care of their healthcare and signed up for companies that seemed available and just the ‘right fit.’ But choosing a health insurance company is perhaps harder than signing up for your immigration visa to the States.
With insurance companies that stay true to their word about their premium policies and coverage, there are plenty of others that are rip-offs and not valuable.
Mentioned below are 5 factors that we deem are necessary for choosing a health insurance company for your family, friends, colleagues, and yourself.
1) An Insurance Company’s Financial Health
Before investing your pool in an insurance company, it is recommended to research its financial status and credibility in the industry.
More commonly, people believe in the ‘word of the mouth,’ especially in circumstances where money or health is concerned. Instead of following endorsements or ads, your family friend is more likely to follow your steps into choosing an insurance company.
First of all, set your referrals straight – what works for Mr. X and his family might not work for you as an individual.
Each health insurance company, such as the US Health Group, has its own set of objectives including a varying degree of premiums, coverage options, and copayment surcharges.
Before choosing an insurance company, research the company’s reputation on the internet by considering their audit reports of financial analyses.
You will be introduced to different types of rating systems which will help you confer the ideal insurance company as per your policy demands out of the rest.
2) Which Policy works best for you?
Each insurance company has a set of policy plans that differ in the type of coverage they offer. Plus, each policy varies with the amount of premiums you have to pay to avail the plan’s features.
While X policy might seem to work wonders for Mr. X, it might not for you depending on the kind of coverage you require.
Before choosing an insurance company, it is better to do widespread research regarding their policies after shortlisting the features you want for yourself. If ‘X ‘company is high-rated but is offering the same features at premiums higher than what ‘Y’ company is offering, consider choosing the latter.
Compare plans not only in relevance to their exhaustive features but also in lieu of the deductibles that you might be liable to pay during a medical emergency.
Deductibles include copayment surcharges – the amount that you have to pay regardless of your insurance – including varying monthly costs. Given that you already have to pay for insurance and save some due to copayment, it is necessary that you choose a plan that does not require thousands of dollars in monthly deductibles.
3) Research about your Provider Network
Each healthcare insurance company has a list of doctors and hospitals tied up to their network of beneficiaries.
For instance, if you are living in an area that is not too close to the city, then your health policy’s panel of consulting health officials might be different as compared to those living in the suburbs.
Also, if you are choosing an ACA plan, then it can have its limitations of coverage within your city. Many independent health insurance companies have non-ACA plans that include a huge network of hospitals and are more likely to have your doctor of choice.
Many health insurance companies tie up to specific brands and cooperate with their employees for features that might be either limited or extendable. Many employees also seek individual health insurance in addition to the one provided by their workplace so that their health is secure in case they switch jobs.
4) Doctor Preferences
Many patients are comfortable with going to a certain doctor to whom they have been consulting for a very long time. Your choice of consulting physician should be the primary deciding factor when it comes to choosing a health insurance company.
If you plan on retaining your doctors, you have to, first of all, make sure about the health insurance companies that include their services.
In addition, each health policy differs from its provider networks as per the functionality and outreach of the doctor. For instance, if you are comfortable in consulting a doctor who has somehow relocated to a rural place, there might be a possibility of limited access coverage as per the requirement of said company and policies.
5) Satisfactory User Experience
In addition to making a decision based on physician preferences, coverage features, and the amount of premiums, it is important to evaluate the pretext of the company’s user interface.
While a company is known for the kind of services it entails, it is truly its flexible user experience that makes it stand out amidst the competition.
To research your shortlisted health insurance company’s user experience, consider checking the complaints filed by consumers against complicated financial analyses.
Apart from the complaints, you should also check whether the said insurance company was successful in responding to the complaining consumer satisfactorily or not.
The Final Verdict
From handling insurance legislations to account handling discrepancies, a health insurance company should monitor and take control of any complexities that incur during and after registration.
Usually, it is a universal verdict that insurance companies that have been operating for a couple of decades might know the ins and outs of the business – and with good reason.
From managing financial risks to taking care of growing assets, choose a health insurance company that can meet long-term financial commitments with obligation and resolution.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia