In order to compare Cinergy health insurance to Blue Cross Blue Shield you have to be healthy if the plans are underwritten (if they are allowed to ask about your medical history). While most people accept the fact that they are not likely to get the best deal when they are looking for a home insurance company in Houston TX or a home insurance company in San Jose California if they have had a lot of home insurance claims, they feel differently about health insurance. It is unfortunate, but you can’t shop around for health insurance very effectively if the insurance companies consider you to be too great of a risk.
This means that the most important thing that you can do to keep your risk of having health care costs down is to make sure that you and your family stay healthy. Of course some health risk factors are beyond your control. However many aren’t. Do what you can to keep or improve your health because when you are a good risk you can shop around more effectively. When you can shop around, you can get the best rate.
Your health insurance rates cannot be raised on you as an individual, but they can be raised on your group. Your group will probably consist of those policy owners who are the same age, gender and who have purchased the same policy series.
If you purchased your policy five years ago, you may have a policy series that is no longer being offered to new clients. This is bad! Your insurance carrier probably has a new policy series that offers similar benefits. It is probably less expensive. What is even worse is that the cost of your policy will always be more expensive than the new version and that the difference in cost will increase every year.
Why? The cost of your insurance policy is largely based on the average cost of the claims of those in your group. If your group consists of people who are your age and gender who bought their policies five to ten years ago, your rates are going to be higher than they would be if you moved yourself into the group of people who purchased their policies last year. Age is a factor in health insurance pricing, but the age of your exam or underwriting is a factor most are unaware of.
Let’s compare insurance underwriting to banking. Which group of loans is more likely to default in the next 12 months? Do you think it is the group of people who got their loans last month or those who got their loans ten years ago? My guess it is the people who have just had their credit checked the ones most likely to be stable and be able to pay their bills. Over the next 12 months, their ability to pay is not as likely to deteriorate. Conversely, the individual who hasn’t had his credit looked at for 10 years has had 10 years of change in his life and may have become a bad risk.
The people who purchased their health insurance policies and passed the underwriting screening five years ago are more likely to have claims than those who are able to purchase today. You should shop for insurance once a year. You may not want to change policies that often, but you should make sure that your rate is still competitive. Eventually, you may be unable to switch policies because of a health event of your own, so shop today while you can do something about your rate.
The bottom line is, you can get a better deal if you are able to shop around and move to a new policy series when one becomes available but in order to do so you need to stay healthy. Although many health risk factors are beyond our control, do what you can to live a long healthy life and you will save on your health insurance costs as well.