The Fastest Way To Get Lowest Cost Health Insurance

Recently I had the opportunity to switch health insurance carriers.

Why switch? First, my existing carrier increased my premiums regularly. This was interesting, because I didn’t make one claim in over 3 years and only used 1 doctor visit a year towards my deductible. I certainly wasn’t a strain on their program, in fact, they made out quite well from my premiums. Second, they didn’t have a flexible payment plan. Either I had to pay annually by check, or monthly by ACH debit from a bank account. Neither plan fit my needs.

So in doing some research, I realized that since I hadn’t made a claim in 3 years, and rarely, if ever, used the insurance, I could move to the next level. To get a better premium I needed to increase my deductible and switch to another health insurance company.

I started my search at eHealthInsurance and looked for available plans in my state. There were many, but I quickly sorted by price and reviewed the plan details. They have a nice system that allows you to search by many different criteria and review the plans in detail.

Here’s what I looked for:

  • PPO Network
  • high deductible options
  • family coverage
  • overall good company ratings
  • flexible payment options

Within about an hour I had selected the plan that made the most sense for myself and my daughter and applied. The system allowed my to apply online without making a phone call or leaving my computer (although help was available by phone or email if I needed). I selected a plan with a high deductible, $7,500 per year.

Within 24 hours I had received a call from the underwriter, answered a few questions, and was approved for the policy. I selected my activation date and confirmed the premiums. Start to finish it took less than 2 days to get a new policy, and under $90 a month for both myself and my daughter along with a flexible payment plan and PPO coverage.

Here are some quick tips that can help you make this work.

If you have pre-existing conditions or have more than one or two health issues, this process won’t be as fast or easy.

You see, the healthier you are, the easier it is to get excellent coverage, fast. It just makes sense. If you are healthy, the insurance company has a much lower risk of spending any money on you and will welcome you with open arms, glad to accept your monthly premium. The more issues you have, the higher risk they have of expenses on your conditions. The more time they take, the more conditions they add and the more questions they ask.

Many may say the high deductible I selected doesn’t make sense since they use their insurance so often. But look at it another way. Don’t think of your insurance as a bank account when every time you need to see the doctor you want to get your money’s worth from your premium and have a low co-pay. I don’t care about the co-pay. I go to the doctor, maybe, once a year and spend a total of $70 at the visit.

If I opted for a lower deductible, it would raise my premium, on average, $75 a month. $75 times 12 months equals an additional $900 in premiums over the year. Why spend that much so I can have a lower deductible and co-pay if I plan to spend less than $100 a year on doctor visits?

The best way to look at a health insurance policy is to think of it as a safety net in case of a major emergency. Don’t think of it as a way to pay for routine exams, illnesses, etc. Set aside a few hundred dollars each quarter and pay for any routine visits in cash. It will save you hundreds and thousands each year in premiums. The doctor doesn’t need to process your claim through the insurance company, which saves them money and most are glad to accept less for a cash payment.

If you want to save money, I recommend doing everything you can to be healthy. See my previous article Five Ways To Trim Your Medical Costs and Save for tips on getting in top shape, and save money on your health insurance premiums in the process.

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