Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Top Tips Finding The Best Health Insurance Policy

Can you afford to go without health insurance coverage? Paying out of pocket for services, replacements and accidents is often too expensive to be an option. Health insurance is expensive, too, but it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses by thousands of dollars. Here are some tips to help you find the best health insurance coverage to fit your budget:
  • Consider how you use medical services and find the best-valued policy for your needs.
  • Be certain of the policy's effective date and terms of coverage. You need to know when coverage is provided, if there's a waiting period for full coverage, what the benefits include and how coinsurance or out-of-pocket payments are determined.
  • If you have savings to cover high deductibles and seldom go to the doctor, consider a policy with a  lower premium, but higher deductible.
  • Find out if there are exclusions on pre-existing treatments or conditions. If there are exclusionary riders on your policy you will be responsible for any care, treatment or medicine used for that excluded condition.
  • Know exactly which services and conditions are covered.
  • Understand what the policy premium is, and if it's paid monthly, semi-annually or annually.
  • Make sure you are clear on the difference between an HMO contract, self-funded plan, insurance policy and medical discount plan.
  • See if there are any additional fees, like copy's or coinsurance.
  • Make sure the benefits and covered supplies meet your needs.
  • Never give out your bank information or write a check until you are extremely clear on the policy     you're considering.
  • Ask for all the printed items that detail the policy's benefits and how you could use them.
Find out if your doctor accepts the insurance you're considering.
When you understand your health insurance policy and all the options presented you will save you money. Ask questions, do some research and insist on full disclosure regarding the policies you're considering. You shouldn't accept a policy simply because it's the first one offered. Take some time to fully understand what your needs are and determine which coverage would be best. You don't want to skimp on health insurance coverage but you shouldn't buy a policy filled with fluff you'll never use.

If you're like the millions of small-business owners across the country concerned about health insurance, you're probably a bit confused and concerned about the ever- changing laws and seemingly never ending increase in cost.  If you're deciding whether or not to offer your employees insurance in 2014, here are a few suggestions to consider.

Take into account the nature of your business.  Small businesses made up of primarily owners, such as physician and dentist offices, architecture firms, and accounting practices, will most likely find that it still makes sense to offer their employees insurance, possibly including some sort of life insurance option.  Adversely a dry-cleaning shop or mom-and-pop restaurant that hires minimum-wage or unskilled workers may find that it makes more sense to skip group coverage.

When considering the health insurance issue for you employees, keep your employees in mind and what they might want. Employees newly required to have health insurance under the law may want to get it from their employer. With that in mind, employers may feel encouraged to offer some sort of coverage.

When trying to decide whether to get a group policy, don't forget that your employees might be better off buying an individual health insurance plan through a state policy, especially if they qualify for a federal subsidy.  Ask yourself, "If most employees could qualify for premium help through the individual exchange, am I doing my workers any favor by offering group coverage?"

Maybe the best advice when considering whether or not to offer you employees health insurance coverage is to wait and see how all of this ends up shaking out.  You've got some time, but you should at least be seriously thinking about it right now. Don't wait until the last minute or when it's too late.  Do your homework and fully understand the laws and the various options for your company's insurance needs. 

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