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by James Tuck

5 Tips on Getting Family Health Insurance

Purchasing family health insurance can be confusing for someone who does not have knowledge of the insurance arena. Most people know that insurance is there to protect them during times of sickness or accidents, but there are also things that the common person does not know. Here are some things to consider when purchasing family insurance:

1. Most employment companies offer some sort of health insurance plans, but these plans are often not as good as the plans that can be purchased outside of the company. Many people assume that their company will offer them the best rates, but that is not always the case. In fact, while company benefits may be beneficial for an individual or a couple, when adding to a family plan these coverages can become extremely expensive. Companies are not required to cover additional members at a discount and this could make a drastic difference in premiums.

2. If a person quits their job, they can still have coverage of their benefits through COBRA. COBRA is an insurance plan that allows a person to keep their family health insurance benefits, but without the discount they used to receive. COBRA’s costs are astronomical and many think they have no options, but to have a lapse in coverage. In fact, purchasing an insurance policy from a company independently, avoiding COBRA, can actually be way more cost effective.

3. The lowest plan is not always the best plan. Just because the premiums are within the families’ budget, does not mean that this plan will provide the best coverages. In fact, sometimes the plans that have the economical payment plans will end up costing way more in the long run. Large deductibles and prescription coverages are things that people need to consider when purchasing plans. Family health insurance plans need to be reviewed and carefully read for fine print. What usually happens is that too good to be true insurance plan, is really that, too good to be true.

4. Family health insurance falls into two basic categories, HMO’s and PPO’s. It is always important to shop around and compare rates when dealing with either type of plan. There are numerous insurance companies that have various coverages options. Some will restrict insured people to only use hospitals or doctors that are in their network, this is called a PPO plan. Other plans, will allow a person to go to any medical facility these are called an HMO plan. A policy for a home is pretty standard, but health insurance plans vary greatly; it pays to shop around.

5. Those that have pre-existing conditions may have a hard time finding great insurance coverage. For instance, those who have a family member who is overweight may find that they are denied for coverages from many companies. If insurance is purchased through an employer, the employer cannot limit coverages due to pre-existing conditions. However, when purchasing insurance outside of employment, the insurance company can put all the stipulations the state will allow. Oftentimes, they will put waiting periods and may or may not cover the condition at all in the future.

Regardless of which company one chooses to purchase health insurance through, it pays to do some plenty of research. What works for one family may not work for another. Depending on ages and medical history coverage rates can be drastically different.

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