Friday, December 12, 2008

How To Compare Group Health Insurance Quotes

Choosing group health insurance plan for your business is a critical priority and never an easy task. So how do you simplify the process of comparing group health insurance quotes and make sure that your employees get the best health insurance benefits at the lowest possible cost?

If you already have a group plan in place for your business, then you know that getting group health insurance quotes isn’t a quick and easy process. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as getting online, plugging in your zip code, email and phone number into some health insurance web site and getting instant insurance quotes.

Instead, you need to work with a reputable independent health insurance broker who can guide and advise you as you determine the best group health plan design for your business. A broker has access to multiple insurance carriers and knows the ins and outs of comparing group health insurance quotes. He or she helps with comparing your group health insurance quotes based on both benefits and cost and can help you decipher the various nuances of putting together an employee benefits package that is an ideal fit for your company’s needs.

Group Health Insurance Quotes

Your insurance broker will need to conduct a simple census of your group. This entails collecting general demographic and health history information on all of your full time employees who are currently eligible for participating in your group health insurance plan. Basically, to get the most accurate group health insurance quotes, the information required per employee is name, age, gender, job title, employment start date, how many additional family members will be added per employee, smoker status, and diagnosed health conditions. The required information may vary by carrier and by state. In addition, you’ll need to consider whether optional maternity coverage, dental coverage, and vision coverage will be made available to employees. Finally, you’ll need to think about how many group health insurance options you want to make available to employees (HMO, PPO, HSA, HRA, FSA, POS, or any combination of the aforementioned).

You can wait until you receive your group health insurance quotes from your broker before making a decision on plan design. If you already have group health insurance in place for your company and you are simply shopping quotes to see if there is something more affordable for your business, it’s highly likely that you won’t get an exact replica of your current plan (with all current options, deductible and coinsurance levels, etc.) for a cheaper rate. You can find group health insurance plans at lower rates but you’ll probably have to accept a slightly different (or less) options, higher out of pocket costs for your employees, or altogether offering the same group health insurance plan with increased employee contribution to the insurance premium.

Ultimately, the more informed you are regarding the various components of group health plans, the simpler it will be to work with your broker in comparing group health insurance quotes and ensuring that you get the best group benefits at the lowest rates.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Best Health Insurance Quotes Online

People ask me every day how they can get the best health insurance quotes online. The simple answer is you need to know what to look for because not all health insurance quotes online are the same. You want a smart balance of coverage and premium. Here’s a list of things you should look for.
Ultimately, if you’re shopping health insurance quotes online, then you’re most likely looking for the best deal. So what’s a good deal? That’s what you need to know before you run off searching for health insurance quotes online. You need to define what comprises a smart balance between coverage and insurance premium.

Health Insurance Quotes Online

Start with what you already know. Do you currently have health insurance? If so, then you probably have a good idea of whether it works well for your family’s needs. This is very useful information to have while shopping health insurance quotes online. For example, say you’re used to paying a $30 copay for every routine doctor visit, $15 for generic prescriptions, and $50 for brand name prescriptions. Doctor visits and prescriptions are the most commonly looked at benefits of a health insurance plan. The next question, before looking at any health insurance quotes online, is how often do you actually use these benefits?

If you have a fairly health family that doesn’t go to the doctor’s often and doesn’t get sick frequently enough where you’re filling hundreds of dollars worth of prescription drugs, then these benefits fall low on your needs list. This is important because now you can seek out health insurance quotes online for health insurance plans that will save you money in this area.

Another thing to consider before looking at any health insurance quotes online is the appropriate level of deductible and coinsurance to get. Most health insurance quotes online only show you deductible level. Again, compare to your current health insurance coverage and think about how often you actually reached your deductible and coinsurance maximums (together these equal your annual out of pocket maximum). Estimate all of your healthcare expenses per year on average. Then figure out how much more in medical expenses you can handle out of your own pocket without incurring financial hardship. Now you know what deductible and coinsurance level you need as you search health insurance quotes online.

So make sure you’re equipped with the fundamentals of how health insurance works, what your health insurance needs are, and seek out those health insurance quotes online that will provide you with the coverage you need at the lowest available rates.