10 years ago ·
by Alston ·
Comments Off on Do You Really Need Health Insurance?
In many cases other types of insurance, such as car insurance, homeowners insurance or some other type of coverage will pay for your injuries. However, in many situations this will not be the case.
A car insurance policy is primarily a liability insurance policy. This means that it will pay money to others in certain situations. For example, if you ran into a man and broke his leg, your car insurance policy would probably pay to have the leg set.
However since you could not be liable to or successfully sue yourself, the liability part of your car insurance policy would not pay for injuries that you sustained.
You might get some medical bills taken care of if your policy has a “no fault” provision. However, the payout on this aspect of coverage is usually limited to a few thousand dollars. This would hardly be enough to put you back together if you have a major auto accident.
If however, you were injured in an accident where the other party was at fault, you may get your medical bills paid for by their automobile insurance policy. If they don’t have insurance you may have your bills paid by the uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist section of your policy.
Homeowners insurance can also pay for medical injuries, but you will find limitations here as well. You may find that liability coverage will pay for your medical bills, but only for injuries sustained in someone else’s house in situations where the homeowner was at fault.
If you are hurt on the job, you may find that your employer’s insurance will pay for your injuries. However, the fact that you need to be working for your employer’s insurance policy to cover anything limits the situations where you can expect to have your medical bills covered.
Only a relative few sicknesses, such as black lung for coal miners, are covered by an employer’s liability policy. This is because there has to be a reasonable belief that the sickness was caused by something directly connected to the job.
You may not need health insurance if…
- Your future medical bills will be the result of an automobile insurance accident where the other driver was at fault.
- Your future medical bills are small and covered by the “no fault” provision of your car insurance policy.
- Your future medical bills are the result of someone else’s negligence and are covered by their home owners insurance policy.
- Your future medical bills are the result of a on the job injury or a sickness that is likely to have been triggered by something connected to your job.
If you are tempted to go without health insurance, consider a cheap “house keeper” policy. That is what I call a cheap health insurance policy that has a high deductible. A policy like this might have a deductible of $5,000 or $10,000. This is a lot to pay off, but you will probably be able to make payments on the uncovered expenses and keep your house.
Do you really need health insurance? If your future medical bills are the result of a sickness or disease, chances are only a health insurance policy will cover them. If your injuries are not the fault of another driver or covered by another person’s homeowner’s insurance chances are, only a health insurance policy will cover the medical bills associated with your injuries.
10 years ago ·
by Alston ·
Comments Off on Taking COBRA health insurance can be a mistake!
Taking your COBRA health insurance option can be a mistake!
Many people are laboring under a very popular misconception. They often believe that the COBRA health insurance plan offered by their former employer is better than any private medical insurance policy that they might get on their own.
Because of this belief they fail to investigate their options with individual or family health insurance policies that they can purchase on their own. Many would be surprised to learn that companies like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare that offer group health insurance to large and small employers also offer policies that can be purchased by individuals who are not part of a group.
These policies may not be identical to the policies that they offer to their group insurance clients. However, they often tap into the same network of doctors and hospitals. They often have very similar benefits.
COBRA Insurance plans are often more expensive than private plans!
COBRA health insurance can cost more than private health insurance. This again often comes as a surprise to the average consumer who has never shopped for health insurance on their own.
COBRA gives you the right to participate in the group health insurance plan that your former employer offers to its current employees. This makes COBRA a group health insurance policy. Group health insurance policies, and therefore COBRA health insurance policies, often cost more than individual policies.
We are used to things bought in larger quantities costing less. A gallon of spring water costs less when purchased in gallon container than when purchased in several smaller ones. A group that purchases a block of tickets to an event can expect to pay less per ticket than an individual would pay when purchasing a single ticket.
Health insurance doesn’t always follow this pattern. In many states a group health insurance policy has to be offered to all employees regardless of their health status. This means that the insurance company can have higher costs associated with those policies. They of course pass those costs along to the consumer.
Although an insurance company cannot drop a policy holder just because their health has worsened AFTER they purchased, they are usually able to be selective about new applicants. They will deny those who have current health problems. This lowers their cost and the cost if private health insurance.
Accepting COBRA can prevent you from qualifying for health insurance in the future!
COBRA is short-term health insurance
The answer to the question “how long can I carry cobra insurance after my job loss?” is usually 18 months although it can be longer in certain circumstances. This usually means that if you take your COBRA health insurance option you will need to find another health insurance policy or be without coverage 18 months from when your COBRA began.
Should you or one of your insured family members develop a significant medical condition during that time period, you or that family member may not qualify for an underwritten medical policy when your COBRA eligibility ends.
This can mean that taking COBRA prevents you from buying another health insurance policy!
There are situations were taking COBRA is your best options. However, if you are healthy and your family is healthy, you will probably get a lower price by shopping around and finding a good health insurance policy that you can purchase directly from a quality health insurance provider.
10 years ago ·
by Alston ·
Comments Off on Major Medical Health Insurance for College Students
Finding HMO, PPO or major medical health insurance for college students involves the same thought process as finding health insurance for other family members with one difference. If the student to be insured attends school a significant distance from home, you will want to be sure that the insurance policy’s network of doctors and hospitals will serve him or her well both at school and at home.
Steps Involved in Finding Cheap Student Health Insurance:
- Make a List of reputable Medical Insurance Companies
- That serves the student’s home area
- That serves the student’s college area
- Check for Complaints with Your Insurance Department
- Compare Policy Benefits
- Compare Policy Prices
Make a List of Reputable Medical Insurance Companies
State insurance departments will have a list of insurance companies that are approved and that serve the various geographic areas of the state. Consulting with this list will limit your search to more reputable companies. Although an insurance company can be approved by a Dept. of Insurance and still offer substandard policies, you have a better chance of finding a quality medical insurance policy if you begin with this step.
Check for Complaints with Your Insurance Department
Any health insurance company that insurance a significant volume of policyholders will have complaints. The ratio of complaints when compared to their number of policyholders is what you should look at. If their ratio is significantly higher than their competitors, you should cross them off your list. Medical insurance companies with too many complaints are less likely to pay your claims.
Even if many of the complaints are not justified, it can mean that the policy provisions are misleading. An insurance company may pay all of the claims it is legally obligated to pay and have many complaints because their insurance policies cover less than what their policy holders expect. So even unjustified complaints should be noted.
Compare Policy Benefits
Look at not just the deductible, co-pays and coinsurance; also look at the annual caps and lifetime caps on the various benefits. A policy with low co-pays but an unreasonable limit on the amount they will pay in a year for medical care could leave you holding the bag for tens of thousands of dollars. You should also make sure that the limitation on prescription benefits is reasonable. Maternity insurance should also be investigated. Most policies will not cover this benefit and it is costly. However, believing that pregnancy expenses are covered when they are not can be costly.
Compare Policy Prices
Whether you are looking for a student health insurance plan in Boston or a student health insurance plan in Memphis, price will matter. Finding a cheap student health insurance plan is important, but only when you have eliminated the plans that will not serve you well because of lower benefits or a network of providers that does not cover the geographic areas important to you.
Student Health Insurance
Finding the right plan doesn’t have to be difficult. However, getting competitive quotes from reputable companies, making sure that the network of providers will meet your needs and that the number of complaints against the companies you consider is reasonable will all help you find the right major medical, HMO, PPO or other insurance plan.
10 years ago ·
by Alston ·
Comments Off on Average Monthly Cost for Health Insurance
Many people want to know what is the average price of medical insurance in a given area. This information is probably not very useful since age and medical history have such a big influence on health insurance pricing. If you to want know what health insurance will cost YOU and what is best health insurance for YOUR family, that information is readily available. You can request health insurance quotes and get an answer instantly in some areas and very quickly in others.
Average Health Insurance Prices Go Up In Hard Times
The average cost for health insurance is rising very rapidly. Unfortunately, it can rise even faster during a recession. This is because a higher percentage of medical bills go unpaid than they would in better times. Hospitals and doctors continue to treat many of these people due to the Hippocratic Oath, their own sense of what is right and not incidentally certain government mandates. They then have to pass these unpaid costs on to their paying customers. This means the insured patients pay more for their medical insurance coverage.
This May Be Unfair to the Insured
Yes, this may be unfair but this is the way it is at this time and unless the answer to the question "what is the future of individual health insurance?" is much different than what I predict, this will continue for a long time. Health insurance prices go up because we get older. They go up when new procedures are approved. Medical insurance prices go up when new laws are passed that mandate more coverage.
How to Lower Your Medical Insurance Costs
The average cost of medical insurance may be going up and there may be little you can do about it. However, your personal costs don’t have to rise as quickly as everyone else’s.
Here are a few suggestions that have helped a lot of our clients lower their medical expenses:
- Eliminate unneeded medical coverage
- Consider eliminating dental insurance
- Consider High Deductible Health Plans
- Get Healthier
- Shop Around
Eliminate Unneeded Medical Coverage
Often we find that families are paying too much for their coverage because they are paying for coverages that they no longer need or that they never needed. Maternity insurance is probably the most costly coverage that people carry after they no longer need it. It pays to review your coverage and make sure that you still need all the optional coverages.
Consider Eliminating Dental Insurance
Dental insurance, especially when you purchase it directly is often more expensive than it is worth. There are often waiting periods and annual caps and other limitations that make this coverage a bad buy. Take a good look at your dental insurance policy and see if you think it is worth your hard earned money.
Consider High Deductible Health Plans
Raising your deductible does mean that you are increasing your exposure. However, in many cases you increase your exposure by a smaller amount than the decrease in premium. You’ll have to do a little math to see if it is worthwhile to raise your deductible, but for many people it is. In Connecticut we find that purchasing an HSA compatible plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield with High Deductible is often much better and less expensive than a low deductible co-pay plan even if a client has a lot of medical expenses.
The true cost of your health insurance policy is not just the amount of the premiums, but the cost of your deductible and other cost shares. We find in many cases, that even when you add in those additional costs, the total for a high deductible plan is less than the cost of other policies.
You should ask yourself will be the cost of this policy plus the cost of unreimbursed expenses if I have
- No expenses or just preventative care medical expenses
- Moderate medical expenses
- Catastrophic expenses
You may be very surprised when you do the math. What is the meaning of insurance premium or the value of comparing insurance premiums without also looking at the potential of unreimbursed costs?
You will probably find that medical insurance plans with moderate to high deductibles will suit your family better than low deductible plans.
You may be charged more for health insurance because of your weight or the fact that you smoke. If either of the above is true, you may find that lowering your weight or lowering your cancer risk will lower your premiums. I know that this is much easier to type than to do, but please consider it. There is more at stake than lower medical insurance costs.
Medical insurance costs can vary quite a lot from carrier to carrier. Shop around, but make sure that you only purchase quality coverage from reputable companies.
You may find that by selecting the right plan and the right options YOUR average monthly cost for health insurance goes down substantially.
10 years ago ·
by Alston ·
Comments Off on Why Is Car Insurance So High For Teenagers?
Car insurance is high for teenagers for the same reason that the cost of over 80’s car insurance is high and/or hard to get. The likelihood of submitting an auto insurance claim for drivers in these groups is more likely. These age groups have more accidents than others. This cost the insurance company more and they pass those costs on to you. Therefore the average cost of car insurance for a teenager will be higher than the cost for most other drivers.
Your Teenager’s Car Insurance – How You can Lower the Costs
- Shop Early for Your Teenager’s Car Insurance
- Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts
- Get Drivers Ed Car Insurance Discounts
- Determine what Car has the Best Insurance Rate
- Drop Collision and Comprehensive Auto Insurance
Shop Early for Your Teenager’s Car Insurance
Planning ahead is important, because once you have a teenage driver, you may not be able to switch to a company that will offer you a better rate. However, if you switch your car insurance policy a year before your oldest child is of driving age you can become an existing customer of the company that will give you the best deal when your child is of driving age.
Get Good Student Car Insurance Discounts
Study hard or take the bus. The desire to drive is a powerful incentive to a young man or woman. You may be able to get your child to study harder if you connect driving privileges’ with grades. Most insurance companies will offer better rates to better students. When you ask your agent “what is automobile collision insurance?” or to help you in determining the right amount of auto insurance, you may also want ask about good student discounts.
Get Drivers Ed Car Insurance Discounts
There is nothing wrong with teaching your child how to drive. However, this won’t get you a discount. In addition to driving with your child when he or she has their learners permit, have your child take a course that will get you a discount on your car insurance policy. The cost of the course will probably be much less than the money you will save because of the discount.
Determine what Car has the Best Insurance Rate
This is another question to ask your agent. The cost of collision and comprehensive insurance is affected by the cost to repair your car. Also liability insurance for a sports car may be higher than for other cars. Check with your agent before buying a car for your child.
Drop Collision and Comprehensive Auto Insurance
If you feel comfortable with the added risk, drop collision and/or comprehensive auto insurance coverages. You can also lower your costs by raising your deductible on these coverages.
The Average Cost of Car Insurance for a Teenager…
is always going to be high. The answer to the question “how much is car insurance for a 16 year old? is probably a higher number than you want to hear. You are going to pay more for your car insurance once you have a teenager on the road. However, you may much pay less than you would otherwise if you follow some of the tips in this article.