Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Health Insurance Comparison

When looking for health insurance, comparison shopping is essential. One of the most important types of insurance you can purchase is health insurance.

While it tends to be less expensive than other types of insurance, such as life insurance, it is important to compare various types of health insurance plans before making a final decision as to which plan to select.

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You can certainly become very confused about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of plan. Therefore, having a reference such as the one below can be of invaluable assistance. Utilizing this step-by-step guide will help you with this health insurance comparison.

Generally speaking, your place of employment will usually supply the simplest, most cost-effective health coverage. Inquire as to the types of plans that are available from which to choose. Additionally, you’ll find that when you sign on with your employer, your coverage will also be more cost effective.

However, not everyone is eligible for workplace benefits. Plus, the healthiest folks tend to pay for the higher risk applicants in this type of group coverage. Finally, opting for a group plan means you will have less say in the type of coverage you get and the doctors you are allowed to see. Other options include:

  • COBRA insurance coverage– COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. If you’re unemployed, have recently been laid off or fired, COBRA is perhaps the best insurance coverage you will encounter. Additionally, under your new employer, you can lengthen your COBRA coverage from 18 months to 3 years utilizing the same group insurance. However, you should be ready to either to pay the insurance company directly or even your employer.
  • Locate an insurance agent, from which you can collect data about the various available plans from which you can choose. Visit NAHU to find an office in the vicinity of your home. NAHU stands for the National Association of Health Underwriters, and their website can assist you in making a health insurance comparison.

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Health Insurance Comparison: Types of Plans

You should also consider comparing PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations, Fee for Service Plans, and POS (Point of Service) Plans.

  • PPOs don’t offer you the same flexibility as other plans, since you must select a physician from their own list, but the premium is lower than Fee for Service Plans.
  • HMOs can be very limiting in terms of flexibility, but are also the least costly for your health benefits. They tend to work with multiple doctors, and their plans tend to be much more affordable. Fee-for-service plans allow you to select your own hospitals, physicians and specialists, but the premium is also higher than that of the others and the coverage can be limited and they can be much more cost-prohibitive to maintain.
  • The Point of Service (POS) network will command your doctor to select the specialist that he or she so desires, but the plan’s other features are not unlike those of a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Also, PPOs tend to have more doctors from which to choose.

It’s important not to overlook prescription coverage, as well, making certain to appraise the quality of the coverage you would receive under the various plans. Looking to determine which cover the medications associated with any pre-existing conditions not attached to any extra fees, is perhaps one of the best methods of going about this.

Additionally, it’s important to determine if there’s a renewal clause. A renewal clause would automatically renew your health insurance plan at your current plan’s rates, despite what your medical history might be, and it should also have some provision that confirms that they will not drop you, either.

Finally, you should consider the time element. How long does it take for your medical issues to be addressed? Are you kept waiting to see a doctor, or are you able to get in to see one right away?

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Questions to Consider When Making a Health Insurance Comparison

Once you have had the opportunity to review the features, benefits, and potential drawbacks of each plan, you should ask yourself several important questions, such as the following, which will assist you in locating just the right amount of coverage to fit your budget for your own family’s needs:

  • What will be the cost of my premium?
  • Will I have a co-pay, and if so, how much?
  • What is the amount of my deductible?
  • Does my plan include prescription coverage, and if not, how much will be out-of-pocket?
  • Does the plan I select cover any pre-existing medical conditions I may have?
  • What services are covered/not covered?
  • Can I go to my own physician and select the hospital I prefer?

You should consider all of these questions when making health insurance comparisons. The most important factor is to select an insurance plan that won’t burden you with additional expenses in the event of an emergency.

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