Sources of Insurance:
Health insurance is generally available through groups and to individuals. When you receive group insurance at work, the premium usually is paid through your employer. For individual insurance, it is best to contact a professional health insurance agent to review your options.

Group insurance is typically offered through employers, although unions, professional associations, and other organizations also offer group insurance. As an employee benefit, group health insurance has many advantages. Much although not all of the cost may be borne by the employer. With group insurance, if you enroll when you first become eligible for coverage, you generally will not be asked for evidence that you are insurable.

Individual insurance is a good option if you work for a small company that does not offer health insurance or if you are self-employed. Buying individual insurance allows you to tailor a plan to fit your needs from the insurance company of your choice. It requires careful shopping, because coverage and costs vary from company to company. To determine what policy is right for you, it is best to consult with a health insurance agent.

Medicare, In many parts of the country, people covered under Medicare now have a choice between managed care and traditional Medicare plans. You can switch plans for any reason. However, you must officially tell the plan or the local Social Security office, and the change may not take effect for up to 30 days.For those people enrolled in the traditional Medicare plan, there are private insurance options that help cover some of the gaps in Medicare coverage. These supplemental policies are sometimes called Medigap or Medicare Supplements. These policies must cover certain expenses, such as the daily coinsurance amount for hospitalization. Some policies may offer additional benefits, such as coverage for preventive medical care, prescription drugs, or at-home recovery.

Medicaid covers certain low-income individuals with special consideration given to children, pregnant women, and disabled people. Medicaid is a joint federal-state health insurance program that is run independently by each state. In some cases, states require people covered under Medicaid to join managed care plans.

A licensed insurance agent can provide information and advice on coverage options and cost saving measures. When choosing an agent, you should c
heck whether the agent is a full-time and experienced agent, or one who sells insurance as a sideline.

Your agent will be able to evaluate your current coverage and make specific recommendations that suits your need for health insurance protection and your budget. Ask the agent to give you an outline of coverage. The outline of coverage summarizes the policy's benefits and highlights important features. Policy benefits vary among policies, and it is often difficult to compare policies based solely on cost. Make sure you understand what the policy covers and what it does not. It is important to understand plan exclusions, limitations, and penalties clearly.

Be prepared at the initial discussion to answer questions about your health. Report your entire medical history on your application. It is extremely important to be accurate and complete. Check for pre-existing condition limitations that reduce or eliminate coverage of your current health problems for certain periods of time. Make sure you fill out the applications completely and accurately. If any information about your health is misstated or incomplete, the company will refuse to pay your claims and can cancel your policy.

No health plan will cover every expense. To get a true idea of what your costs will be under each plan, you need to look at how much you will pay for your premium and other costs.

Some points to keep in mind about your health insurance purchase:

  • Take your time. On the other hand, don't put off an important decision that would provide protection for your family. Make sure you fully understand any policy you are considering, and that you are comfortable with the company, agent, and product.
  • When you purchase a policy, make your check payable to the insurance company, not to the agent. Be sure to get a receipt.
  • If you have a complaint about your insurance agent or company, contact the customer service division of your insurance company. If you are still dissatisfied, contact your state insurance department. Most departments have a consumer affairs division that can offer help, and some have a toll-free number to respond to consumer requests.
  • Review your policy periodically or when your situation changes to be sure your coverage is adequate.
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