Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Health Insurance Covered - Claiming

Health Insurance Covered - Claiming

When it comes to taking advantage of you health cover the first decision is whether or not you need to see a doctor privately. Your GP may advise you on this and depending on the way your insurer works, you may need to find an idea of the cost involved. Some insurers require that you settle your bills with the consultant or hospital, whilst others prefer it if they’re left to settle the hospital account directly.

Check this out when you’re getting your quotations in and think about it. You may be paying out large sums of money and whilst there shouldn’t be a delay in repayment, you may not want to be concerned with this and prefer instead to go for a policy where you simply get on with your recovery and leave the bill-paying with someone else.

Some insurers have an age restriction on new customers, whilst others will accept people of any age. As people get older the chances of them needing an increased level of medical care is greater and consequently their private health insurance premiums will normally increase.

At the other end of the scale, however, lots of younger people place health insurance way down their scale of priorities, at a time when setting up home and securing that first mortgage is foremost in their minds. This is the best time to set up some sort of cover, though, whilst they are young and healthy. Also, if they are taking on high financial commitments, it is essential that any health problems can be dealt with, with minimum delay and time away from work.

Usually your insurer will offer a married couples or family plan. Again, should any of the family need care it will be given quickly and cause least disruption and much less worry, for the whole family.

In the UK, we’re lucky enough to have a very wide range of health insurance plans. You need to consider your choices carefully. It might be a good idea to look into the choices of hospital on offer in a particular plan and consider why they were chosen. Apart from your budget, you should think about your particular needs and whether the plan in question fits these conveniently.

You don’t have to go for comprehensive plans. Not only can you appreciably reduce the premium which you pay by deciding to pay an excess charge but could reduce the cost beyond this by taking out cover in which you only pay for hospital treatment and in-patient care. In-patient care can be very expensive and you should always cover this eventuality.

Payment for your health insurance policy is another consideration. Usually the amount paid will increase every year, but some insurers will offer another option – that of a fixed price option, where you can make fixed payments over an agreed period.

There are a number of pre-existing conditions which insurers have reservations about. In some cases the insurer will refuse to insure, whilst in others you will be offered cover, but with exclusions. We will go into that in more depth when we discuss types of plans.

By: Michael Challiner
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 Ways To Save On Health Insurance

10 Ways To Save On Health Insurance

1. Raise your deductible.

This can lower your premium by as much as 30%

2. Raise your co-pay.

This can lower your premium by as much as 30 percent.

3. Use your deductible carry-over credit.

You can carry over your expenses from the last three months of a year to help meet the deductible for the next year.

4. Follow the rules of your plan.

For example, if you are required to get a referral before seeing a specialist, make sure you get it.

5. Follow the schedule.

Many plans will pay for annual procedures, such as gynecological exams, physicals, etc. Check your plan’s “Schedule of Care” to see how often a specific procedure is covered. Make sure you do not go in for a physical, for example, in less than 12 months from the previous one.

6. Coordinate benefits with your spouse.

If you are a two-earner couple and both you and your spouse are covered by an employer health plan, each of you can probably be covered under the other’s company plan. To minimize your cost and receive maximum benefits, evaluate the benefits and associated costs of both plans. Make a comparison chart for each benefit, listing cost, (such as deductibles and co-payments) other relevant information. Evaluate each benefit thoroughly. Then, enroll in the plan that offers the better coverage at the lowest cost for each benefit you need. For example, your plan may offer the better prescription coverage. Enroll in that with your spouse as the dependent. Your spouse’s plan may offer the better vision care plan. He/she would enroll in that with you as the dependent.

7. Avoid duplicate coverage.

Review your auto insurance policy to make sure you are not paying for the same coverage that you have in your health insurance plan.

8. Track out-of-pocket expenses.

Many plans have a maximum out-of-pocket amount during a contract year. Keep a diary of your expenses to make sure you do not exceed that amount.

9. Review your policy annually.

Make sure it still meets your family’s needs.

10. Switch plans, if appropriate.

Many employer plans have an open enrollment period. However, if you find that your plan is not meeting your family’s needs, contact your Human Resources Office and ask if you can switch to another plan, even if it is not the open enrollment period.

By: Vernon Williams

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