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Health Insurance Buying Tips For Newbies

If insurance lingo sounds more like Greek than English to you, then never fear. These tips will educate you just enough to help you successfully navigate your way through the insurance buying process.

Shop Around. This is easier than it may sound because here in Texas, many insurance agents sell the same products. For instance, most agents that sell Unicare products also sell Blue Cross / Blue Shield and UnitedHealthCare plans. With just one call, you can get quotes from each of those three companies. Get at least three quotes from your agent.

Talk To Friends And Relatives That Are Satisfied Customers. This is an excellent resource that many individuals forget to use but is by far one of THE best tools to guide your decision making process. Ask questions about how quickly the insurance company pays its claims; the type of customer service it offers; if it is a company that most physicians and hospitals will accept.

Talk To Friends And Relatives That Are Unsatisfied Customers. If your friends and relatives are unsatisfied customers, you can learn from their experiences without having to go through the same frustrations. Listen carefully. Many people just don't understand the way insurance is supposed to work, so be sure the complaint is a legitimate one before you strike that company from your list.

Compare Products. As mentioned previously, you can get a quote from three companies with one phone call, but generally, the policies being sold are different in small ways making it difficult to compare plans equally. For instance, one quote may give you deductibles of $1,000 per individual / $2,000 per family while the other one has a minimum deductible of $1,500 per individual / $3,000 per family. Ask your agent for a comparison plan chart that you can use to check differences. Typical differences between plans will be in deductible amounts as we just considered and in the coinsurance coverage. Since you will be responsible for paying a portion of the coinsurance, it is important to learn how much you will owe. These will vary from 75% to 80% on most types of treatments. Some policies cover preventive health treatments a full 100%.

Do Your Homework. When finances are tight, one of the most attractive alternatives for consumers is to go onto the internet, get a few quotes and buy the cheapest policy available. While tempting, price cannot be the sole criteria you use to buy your insurance policy. The phrase, "you get what you pay for" is especially true and dangerous in the insurance industry when it comes to getting your claims paid. Be sure and choose a company that is financially stable and has a good outlook. You can access this information for free on the internet at In the search box, put in the names of each company that you are considering. Their rating should be at the very least an "A" and their outlook "stable" or "positive". Any other rating or outlook indicates that a company's financial condition is not secure. This can potentially mean that you don't get your claims paid. And if a company can't pay its claims, you practically don't have insurance coverage at all.

Find An Agent You Trust. Using insurance lingo does not equal understanding and to help bridge the gap, you need a professional that you know will keep your best interests in mind. Don't rely solely on the internet to help you find an agent. Again, talking with friends and family is an excellent way to find a trustworthy agent to help you find a policy that best fits yours and your family's needs.

These are your basic tools. All that is left is for you to get started.

Charles Crawley writes articles for many websites covering several subject areas including health insurance quotes and individual health insurance.

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