Hints on easy health coverage shopping for newbies

Health insurance market sure looks confusing to those who have to deal with it for the first time in their life. But as with anything that seems complicated at first, health insurance is quite easy to understand when you take some time to learn the basics of it. Of course, don’t expect to become an insurance market specialist overnight but the following tips will certainly help those inexperienced with health insurance shopping to get a decent policy for a fair price.

What you can get?

Individual insurance plans – the most common option for people with normal income, especially those who aren’t offered with group insurance by their employers. The vast majority of insurance companies offer such policies and the diversity of coverage options is very wide here. However, make sure to learn what are the requirements in your state and check if the insurance company is licensed in your area before getting the plan.

High risk pools – some pre-existing conditions will make it hard for you to get typical individual health insurance. That’s where high risk pools may come in handy. Such plans are available only in certain states, so make sure to learn if there are any in your area. If yes, then it would be a good option for those who are considered to be a high risk policy-holder. The rates are relatively high here, but for some it may be the only option for adequate coverage.

HIPAA coverage – this type of insurance best appeals to those who have been recently dropped of employer sponsored group coverage and don’t fall under COBRA coverage too. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA) health insurance can be purchased in any state and is particularly useful to those who have pre-existing conditions. Thus, it’s a good alternative to high risk pools or an option where the pools are unavailable. Speak to your insurance agent to decide which option is better for you.

Where you can get it?

Insurance agents – these are independent individuals that provide health insurance plans and quotes from numerous companies. Each insurance agent has his own selection of companies he provides services of, and if there are any question he is the person to ask. However, first make sure that the agent you’re speaking with is licensed to work in your area before getting any services or signing policy contracts. You can do that at your state’s insurance department.

Department of insurance – while not being a direct seller of health insurance, the state insurance department can give you valuable information on local agents and providers you can buy from safely. If there are any complaints about any particular provider, this is the place to learn about them.

Online sellers – the recent trend in many insurance companies going online, as well as the development of independent sources can be a very helpful and easily accessible source of information regarding health insurance. It is very easy to get health insurance quotes online with these sites and shopping for a plan takes you only a couple of minutes.