Choosing the Right Temporary Health Insurance Policy
A temporary health insurance policy may be a lifeline for your budget if your access to long-term insurance is interrupted, because of a job change, layoff or even graduation from college. But with so many insurance companies selling temporary or short-term health policies, you may well be confused by all of the information coming your way. Even if you are only looking for a month’s worth of coverage, it’s important to make the choice that’s right for your needs and budget.
Temporary health insurance policies have similar benefits
Most insurance companies that sell temporary health insurance offer plans with very similar benefits. These plans resemble a typical individual major medical policy, covering physician services, inpatient hospital stays, inpatient and outpatient surgeries, prescriptions, X-ray and laboratory services, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and rehabilitation, to a lifetime maximum amount.
Temporary health insurance plans generally offer a wide range of deductible and copayment options from which to choose, so you can pick a plan suited to your needs and budget..
Choosing the right temporary health insurance policy
The differences between companies that sell temporary health insurance can be found in price, customer service and reputation. When it comes to price and benefits, here are several points to consider as you search for the right plan:
*Shop around. Contact representatives of several insurance companies in your area that sell temporary health insurance.
*Evaluate premium prices. Keep in mind that the plan with the lowest premium is not necessarily the best plan for you; price should not be the only factor to consider. However, it’s a very important factor, with health care costs rising each year.
*Look for added value. Some companies provide their customers with various value-added services, such as online health information, discounts on vision and hearing services or prescription drug discount cards.
Selecting the ideal carrier for your temporary health insurance plan
Be sure that the company you are considering for your temporary health insurance policy has a reputation for good customer service, as well as for strength, financial stability and longevity in the market area.
*Find out what level of service and support you’ll get from a potential carrier. Of course, customer support becomes more important the longer you anticipate needing your temporary health insurance plan.
*Look for conveniently located offices with knowledgeable sales and support staff to answer your questions.
*Make sure the carrier you choose will file your claims automatically, with no additional paperwork for you.
*Ask whether the company offers toll-free telephone customer service throughout your area, as well as a customer service e-mail address. Some companies even offer online self-service account management via the internet.
*Look for a well-known name that doctors and hospitals instantly recognize.
*Financial stability is crucial; you don’t want to get stuck with a policy from a carrier that might not last.
*Longevity is a good indication of a company’s strength and value.
*A company’s size can be an important factor. Larger companies can take advantage of economies of scale and absorb large claims or fluctuations in the health insurance market.
Finally, take your time when choosing your temporary health insurance carrier and plan. This is an important decision that affects your health and your financial security even if you’ll only need it for a month or two between jobs. Don’t hesitate to call an insurance agent more than once to make sure all your questions are answered. If you choose with care, you can feel confident that the policy you choose will protect you against the risk of an illness or injury until your long-term insurance is re-established.