Thursday, January 31, 2013

Perform a Year-End or First Of The Year Health Insurance Review

The end of one year and the beginning of another is the time that individuals usually step back and take stock of their lives and their finances and make their resolutions for the following year. Among the items you should be taking stock of is your health insurance policies and coverages. Being frugal in all areas of your life is a practice to be embraced, especially in light of recent economic times.

One way to be frugal and work on your family budget is by spending time undertaking a health and life insurance policy review. If you've had insurance for many years, chances are you pay the premiums but rarely take the time to see exactly what you're covered - and not covered - for. Did you know that some insurance policies offer coverage for maternity insurance? If you're either beyond childbearing years or aren't considering the need for this type of insurance, work with your agent to see about having this coverage removed; chances are it is a cost that is being added to your monthly premium.

If the reason you'll have no need for maternity insurance is because you're approaching middle age, you will also want to begin planning for future healthcare needs and the onset of chronic diseases that strike us as we age.

Take stock of how you've utilized your insurance coverage to date. If you take a look at the number of times you or a family member has visited the doctor or been hospitalized and the type of medications you typically purchase, this can give you clues as to which areas of your insurance policy may need revamping. If you're relatively healthy and don't typically frequent doctor's offices, you might want to buy a policy with a higher deductible as a money-saving option. Evaluate the quality of the care you're receiving. If you're unhappy with the physicians covered in your HMO, you might want to look at another plan.

Once you've determined how you've used the insurance policy in the past, now you want to plan for any future life changes. If you're looking to start a family, for example, look into supplemental maternity policies. Other items to consider could be whether your children are no longer of the age to be covered under your policy, marriage or divorce. All of these life changes can lead to changes in your health insurance policy.

After you've done your reviews and collected the data from your life and potential lifestyle changes, now is the time to either look at other insurance policy options your employer offers or shop around for insurance coverage quotes.

Be prepared to answer these questions when shopping for health insurance:
繚 What are your medical needs?

繚 What deductible can you afford to pay - both for doctor's office visits as well as prescription medications?

繚 Are you in need of regular medical attention for a chronic illness or disease?

繚 Are you looking for particular healthcare benefits? Consider if you're a frequent traveler and whether you travel inside or outside of the country on a regular basis. You will want to speak with your potential insurance agent about the type of coverage you can purchase for medical air ambulance transport. If you're injured in a remote location or in a country that doesn't provide quality healthcare, you may be a candidate for emergency medical transport. Even if you're not looking to carry the coverage year-round, ask the agent whether it's available as a rider for the times when you do need access.

繚 What premium can you afford in your monthly budget?

Performing a year-in-review of your health insurance policy will help you prepare for health emergencies in the future as well as having the potential to save you money on your monthly premiums. It is also better to be informed and prepared - especially for those out of state or country trips in the event you need access to a medical air ambulance. Also, once you've worked out the details with your insurance agent, you might want to take time to contact an air ambulance service provider to make certain that the policy you're considering purchasing is one they accept and that your policy will also provide coverage if you are outside of the United States boundaries.

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