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Shopping for health insurance is more complicated than ever before, and the constantly shifting health insurance legislation and market forces mean that even experienced shoppers have to learn new things every year.
The smart consumer will, therefore, think ahead to find ways to put the odds in their favor by utilizing every available advantage to give themselves "the buyer's edge." Here are five of the best ways to shop smart for your next health insurance policy:
1. Make Use Of A Health Insurance Agent
There are just too many nooks and crannies to the health insurance industry for the average consumer to explore on his own - but the good news is, you don't have to.
By using the free-of-charge services of an experienced, independent health insurance agent, you will make the process of finding your next health policy faster, easier, and much less stressful. It won't cost you any more money or any extra time or effort - so there's really no reason not to use the services of a helpful agent.
2. Do Your Own Preliminary Research
You can't become an insurance expert overnight (and you don't need to), but the fact is, coming to your meeting with your insurance agent as prepared and informed as possible will make things move more smoothly.
There are many ways to research ahead. You can find helpful information online, talk to friends, relatives, and coworkers about their health insurance decisions, and read customer reviews from different insurance companies. Focus on learning the basics of how health insurance works and the meaning of common insurance terms.
3. Be Aware Of Your Situation
Your insurance agent is going to ask you a lot of questions about your health, healthcare usage over the last year and last several years, current health condition, and similar issues. Your financial ability to pay premiums and/or deductibles (if necessary) will also be an important factor.
This type of information will be key in estimating how high your covered healthcare expenses will likely be for the year ahead and will, thus, affect which policy you pick.
4. Set Clear Health Insurance Goals
It is also important to set clear and realistic goals for what you want your health insurance policy to do. No policy can pay for everything - and if it could, the premiums would be too high. What you want is a policy that minimizes your out of pocket expenses relative to your premiums.
For those with low annual healthcare expenses, that could mean a high-deductible policy with low premiums. For those with higher costs expected, it might be better to buy a low-deductible plan with higher premiums. And many others will land somewhere in the middle.
5. Get Multiple Quotes To Compare
Comparison-shopping by an informed consumer who has the added benefit of a health insurance agent is the best bet. Ask your agent to apply your estimated healthcare usage and health insurance goals to multiple insurers and policy types. This lets you quickly compare apples and apples to identify your best available offer.
For assistance from a professional health insurance agent and answers to all your important health insurance questions, contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!