Life Insurance – Essential for Financial Security
Life insurance is an uncomfortable topic for many people. Thinking about it inevitably also involves thinking about the death of a beloved spouse or other loved one, or even your own death. Life Insurance for Financial Security A large proportion of people who need to consider their life insurance needs more closely tend to put off the task for as long as possible.
This is unfortunate because it can frequently mean that such people end up paying more for life insurance than they need to. Being willing to investigate different life insurance policies can sometimes mean a significant cost savings. This leads to a situation in which the family still has adequate coverage in case something should go wrong and a breadwinner should die during his or her prime earning years. Whether or not that happens, the family also has additional discretionary income generated by the fact that they are paying less for the life insurance itself. This is the best way to go, obviously. Life is for the living and prudent families protect both their present and their future by comparison shopping for life insurance and reviewing their policies regularly to make sure they are still a ‘match’ for the family’s changing needs.
Life Insurance: Not Optional
Research studies have found that more than 90% of Americans are aware of the importance of life insurance, describing it as something they “should have.” Less than that number, unfortunately, actually possess a policy, and of that number, many have only the policy that is provided by their employer – in many cases, wholly paid for by the employer as well.
This leads to a situation in which many Americans who could benefit from life insurance are either uninsured or under insured. The typical employer–paid life insurance benefit in the United States is a policy worth $50,000. This is nowhere near the amount of coverage that the average family should carry, but for tax reasons it is often the policy limit chosen by the employer.
Therefore, even those who already believe they have life insurance are likely to not have a realistic amount. These people would benefit from purchasing a private life insurance policy to augment the one provided by their employer, but they may be reluctant to look into the matter either because the subject is uncomfortable or because they believe that life insurance is cost prohibitive.
Fortunately, life insurance is actually a very affordable product that is made even more accessible than previously through life insurance comparison websites that allow consumers to quickly and easily investigate the various premiums they may be charged for different types and amounts of coverage. These sites also allow consumers to compare the rates of various companies offering life insurance to the general public.
Prices from one company to the next are far from uniform, as most comparison shoppers discover within the first few minutes of looking online for a life insurance quotes. To protect yourself fully, be sure to choose your policy from among companies that have high ratings from the independent agencies that evaluate the quality of life insurance coverage in the United States.
Choosing Between HMO and PPO Health Insurance Coverage
Selecting a health insurance plan can be one of the most important things a new employee does. Most large companies can provide assistance to help new hires understand their choices; employees should speak with the human resources department in addition to comparing insurance rates from companies online in order to get a comprehensive understanding of their choices.
It can be helpful, however, to consider in advance the basic questions that will confront you as you make a choice between HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) coverage. Your answers to these questions can help you decide which type of managed care network is best for your needs.
The Question of Flexibility
Some people rate flexibility among the top criteria considered in their selection of health care insurance. A PPO allows patients more flexibility in the choice of hospitals, doctors and other kinds of providers. Although a PPO will have a list of “preferred” providers that they would prefer patients to use, they also allow patients to go “out of network” and select an alternate provider who has not contracted with the PPO. There is usually a financial penalty for doing so; patients who go out of the network will have to pay more than they would when using an in–network doctor.
In an HMO, on the other hand, there will usually be no reimbursement at all if patients use a non–contracted physician. Even when using a contracted physician, patients in an HMO will have to bear the full cost unless they have proper authorization from their primary care physician to see another doctor.
The Question of Independence
HMOs restrict patient choice in another way: they require patients to select a primary care physician. Patients who do not select one will be ineligible for any coverage whatsoever. Patients in an HMO are encouraged or even required to see their primary care physician on a regular basis.
The philosophy behind this is that regular check–ups promote good health and lower expenses in the long run. deciding between hmo or ppo health insurance coverage HMOs do not generally want patients managing their own care and going to the doctor only when ill. Some HMOs will even send regular reminders for diagnostic tests as they come due on a pre–set schedule.
In a PPO, patients do not need to have a primary care physician. They can go to the doctor when they feel it is needed and switch doctors whenever they choose.
The Question of Paperwork
Individuals vary greatly in the amount of paperwork they feel is a reasonable burden. People who dislike dealing with paperwork and waiting for reimbursement will be happier with an HMO–style plan. In an HMO, the physicians are the ones who file claims. Patients themselves do not have to file insurance claims. They are not even billed.
In a PPO, claims are unusual as long as the patients stay in the network. If patients go out of the network, however, they will almost certainly have to file claims and wait to be reimbursed. Paying the doctor directly can lead to more than paperwork; it also means that patients will need access to funds. For some individuals this can be a burden as well.
Why Families are Going Online for Health Insurance Quotes
Health insurance coverage is a necessity in the modern, industrialized world. Without such coverage, many doctors, hospitals and clinics will refuse to treat patients, leaving them with few alternatives except to hope that the problem does not become serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room, which is required to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay or insurance coverage status.
Unfortunately, however, the most common way to get health insurance in the United States is through employment. This is unfortunate because it is generally only those who have full–time employment who are eligible for coverage, and in the current economic climate, more and more individuals are finding themselves either unemployed or underemployed.
This situation leaves individuals to fend for themselves in the insurance market. Where employers would usually have two or three plans for employees to choose from, the individual insurance market has hundreds, from dozens of different companies. Individuals encountering such a large array of prices and choices may have little idea of where to start or how to compare policies.
Online Health Insurance Comparison
Even individuals who believe themselves well–equipped to browse insurance offerings on their own may not have enough time to run full comparisons of all the health insurance products available today. Comparing insurance quotes can be tricky in other ways as well, since two policies with the same deductibles and co–payments may be different in significant ways that are not apparent to the casual consumer.
Many families are now finding that the best solution to these difficulties is to use an online health insurance comparison service. These services have the advantage of being both free and fast, two considerations which can be of paramount importance to families in need of coverage.
In addition, going online for insurance quotes enables families to get the most up–to–date information about not just the policies and prices themselves, but also about important provisions of recent legislation that effect health care coverage in the United States. family health insurance quotes Policies today will not “match up” with what people remember from several years ago, not in all respects.
For example, it does a family little good to be impressed by a policy that covers their children to age 26, since all policies are now required to meet this standard. Individuals who are unaware of this may unintentionally allow themselves to be attracted to a policy that is not the best one for their needs. Since online insurance comparison websites keep themselves fully apprised of changes in federal law as they occur, consumers can find their best interests protected by availing themselves of such sites.
Going online will also help families to become better educated consumers; in addition to quote comparison services, these sites offer a vast array of informational articles explaining not just recent legislation but also insurance industry terminology. The difference between co–insurance and a co–payment, for example, is critical to evaluating policies. Helpful glossaries can clear up any misunderstandings of such terms.
Specialty Health Insurance Policies: Critical Illnesses and College Students
Many health insurance companies offer specialty policies designed to apply only in limited circumstances. Consumers can get health insurance quotes online for these as well as for more standard policies. However, consumers should be careful to discuss with their agent or a company representative all the ramifications of a specialty policy to be sure they understand what limitations on coverage they are accepting.
Critical Illness Policies
These specialty policies are designed to provide financial support in the event that the insured is diagnosed with a specified condition. Some critical illness policies cover all forms of cancer, for example, while others list a wider variety of critical conditions. Common illnesses and conditions listed on such policies also include heart attacks, kidney failure and Alzheimer’s disease.
Critical illness policies generally work in one of two ways: they either provide income for the insured or they pay out a lump sum upon a confirmed diagnosis. Classified as an indemnity policy, the payouts on such a policy usually do not change if the insured recovers completely; merely having developed the disease or condition is enough to cue payouts. However, there may be a waiting period between a confirmed diagnosis and the beginning of payments. Other significant restrictions on such policies include specific criteria that patients must meet in order to receive payment, limitations on pre–existing conditions, and riders that are required purchases.
Many insurance experts believe that a comprehensive health insurance policy is preferable to a critical illness policy if one must choose between the two types of products. So please have a conversation with each provider after receiving your health insurance quotes.
Medical Expense Plans for College Students
Another specialty health insurance policy is a medical expenses plan intended for a college student. These plans are generally available through universities and colleges; some two–year community or vocation colleges even offer them.
It is often true, however, that the college–sponsored plan is not adequate for a particular student’s needs. This leaves the student in the position of needing additional coverage. The provisions in the new Obamacare legislation partially address this problem as they allow young people to be covered under their parents insurance until age 26. specialty health insurance policies understand their benefits Even this, however, is not a full solution; many students attend college in an area that does not have participating providers from their parents’ health insurance plans. HMO plans are particularly susceptible to this because many of them do not operate in all 50 states. Attending college in a state that lacks that HMO network can mean a lack of access to affordable care, and traveling home for every appointment and procedure is neither practical nor cost–effective.
In these situations, students should seek a special health insurance policy designed for college students. These policies are available from several insurers. In general, these plans cover college students regardless of their age and provide coverage that lasts all year, even when school is out of session. Students can choose from a variety of deductibles and select a plan that includes the doctors and hospitals they intend to utilize.