by James Tuck
Raising a family can be downright expensive. Many parents often complain about their finances, and for good reason. It seems like kids are constantly outgrowing their clothes and shoes, and there are always new things that need to be purchased for school or for their extracurricular activities. They often eat like the world is going to end tomorrow, emptying your fridge within a day or two after you visit the grocery store. There are also major expenses that most families save for such as a college education and perhaps their first car. It’s easy to feel like you burn right through your money when you have kids, and so it makes sense to spend time analyzing your budget and making changes where necessary. A good place to start is with family health insurance quotes.
Health insurance is one of those things that you absolutely need to have when you have kids. Between well-checks and immunizations coupled with sick visits and the occasional injury from playing at recess, playing on their sports team, or just plain child-like clumsiness, it may seem like families are constantly at the doctor’s office. For families with more than one child, this is especially true. Yet health insurance is not considered to be particularly affordable, and so it does make sense to shop around for new family health insurance quotes from time to time.
The Cost of Insurance
Many people who start out shopping for insurance look only at one figure, and that is the monthly premium amount. This is a fixed amount that equates to the monthly cost of coverage, and so it is important to analyze how that figure will fit into a family’s budget. However, it is not the only cost of insurance. Each time insurance is used, a co-pay may be charged, and a family may be responsible for a percentage of charges incurred with each doctor’s office visit. These amounts will vary based on the coverage in place. Many families visit the doctor regularly at least once or twice a month for various reasons, and so this cost should be considered carefully in addition to the premium amount.
Understanding Your Family’s Needs
Before you begin contacting insurance companies for quotes, you should take some time to first consider how your family actually uses insurance. For many families, doctor’s visits are frequent, and so finding a policy with a lower deductible and lower co-pays may end up being more beneficial in the long run. This is particularly true for families with younger kids, who often get sick every month or two and visit the doctor often. For families with older kids who seem to have outgrown the phase of being constantly sick, a policy with higher co-pays and a higher deductible generally yields a lower monthly premium. Keep in mind that insurance needs may change over time as kids get older.
Employer vs Individual Plans
Many families today can obtain affordable coverage from the employer of one or both parents. Insurance offered through an employer is often more affordable because it is a group plan. Plus, many employers will pay at least a portion of the employee’s premium, and may pay a portion for dependents as well. However, not everyone is provided with employer coverage. Sometimes this coverage is available, but a family may be interested to see if a more affordable plan based on their specific needs is available.
Shopping for General Quotes
Understanding all of the costs of health insurance and spending time analyzing which type of plan is best for how a family uses insurance is an important first step. Once a family’s insurance needs have been analyzed, shopping for general family health insurance quotes is the next step. There are several insurance comparison sites that feature either a search query format or a grid, and these websites make it easy to narrow down the plans that best fit a family’s current needs. Using these sites is important, as it can save valuable time shopping around to dozens of insurance companies for quotes.
Finalizing Specific Quotes
Once a list of perhaps three or four different plan options have been located, the next step is to obtain specific insurance quotes. Specific quotes are based on health history, age, and other personal details of each member of the family, and this figure may vary from the figure advertised on a price comparison grid or search query result. This step can take time, however, and so it is advisable to narrow down the plan options being considered to just a few before obtaining specific quotes.
Most people who obtain family health insurance quotes on their own, and who pay attention to how varying deductibles and co-pays can affect the premium, will be able to find affordable coverage. There are dozens of plans available to choose from, however, and so it can take some time to sift through all of the options and find the right one that meets a family’s needs and budget.