How do I choose a health insurance policy?

When it comes to Health Insurance, I think we have all known someone who was confused and frustrated and decided to “just pick something” and hope it works out.  The world of health insurance lends itself to this, but it doesn’t have to.  Here are some basic rules to help you get started when choosing the right health insurance plan:

  • Make a list of your doctors
  • Make a list of your prescriptions
  • Make a list of the services you cannot live without (maternity, Rx, etc)
  • Does everyone that will be on your health plan need the same services (does one person need Rx, while another does not?)  Most of us do not realize that we do not need to insure everyone on the same health plan.
  • Check the health plan’s doctor network to make sure your doctors are in network/out of network.
  • Check the health plan’s pharmacy formulary to confirm if your Rx is listed for coverage and what pharmacies or mail order can you use.
  • Check the health plan’s deductible – keep in mind if it is an individual or family deductible.  Will the deductible be higher depending on where your receive the care (in network/out of network).
  • Check the health plan’s maximium co-insurance – keep in mind if it is an individual or family c0-insurance maximum.  Will the co-insurance amount be higher depending on where you receive the care (in network/out of network)
  • Check the health plan’s co-payments and how many doctor visits are covered before you have to satisfy the deductible.
  • Discuss with the health plan if you will have a pre-existing wait period applied to any health conditions you have when switching plans and/or health insurance carriers.
  • Read the health plan limitations and exclusions.

Remember health insurance is not designed to cover everything and this is a basic list to help you get started in the process of choosing a plan.  We recommend you call an agent – there are plenty of good ones out there waiting to help you.


Why do I need Life Insurance?

It is the only insurance you are guaranteed to use.    Imagine your spouse/parents/partners/children receiving an envelope when you die.  Does the envelope contain the life insurance death benefit that is going to help them get through the entire process of dealing with your death and all of the financial responsibilities you created?   Or instead, without life insurance,  is the envelope empty?   Where do they begin?  Life Insurance will provide them with the primary financial tool to begin to try and  maintain their lifestyles.

When should I review my insurance?

Once a year, at a minimum, and June is a great time of year to put it on the calendar. Nobody wants to have an “insurance ouch” at claim time.

Follow this checklist for an easy way to accomplish it:

1. Call your agent for the most current declaration page (shows your coverages and what is covered) and policy and have them email or mail it to you.  You should be able to log in to a site and have easy accessibility to this information as well.

2. Ask your agent what policy options you don’t have on each policy.

3. Ask your agent what new systems are in place to make a claim and what are your responsibilities at claim time.

4. Read your declarations and policy and ask questions.

5.  Google any topic you have questions on, do your homework, and talk to your agent.   Fortunately, in today’s times, it is easier to get the info we need to make our best decisions.

Remember:  Your agent can offer you every coverage under the sun, but it is up to you to purchase it.  I am a believer that as consumers we want our agents talking to us.  I want my agent offering me all the coverages I don’t have and trying to discuss what I do have.  My life is constantly changing and I want to always make a conscience decision on what I pay for and not leave it up to the agent to decide what they think is best.