You’ve got a personal stake in all of your insurance coverage, but with individual health insurance coverage, a little more so. Your car’s wrecked, your business is robbed, your home burns down – these are all very bad situations, but they pale alongside the prospect of a life-threatening emergency or chronic medical condition. Yep, selecting your individual health insurance coverage and the health insurer who’ll provide it is right up there with the most critical decisions you’ll make in your lifetime.
Of course you want low cost health insurance, or at the very least affordable health insurance, but that shouldn’t be the deal breaker when evaluating health insurance quotes. In fact, there are three much more important criteria to consider before you get to the bottom line.
It has never been easier to gauge customer satisfaction for every produce and service under the sun. The affordable health insurance companies you’re considering will no doubt have lots of testimonials on their websites and in their printed literature. Nice start, but come on, they aren’t going to print anything remotely negative. Check out general consumer review sites like Consumer Reports or specialized site like Health Insurance Reviewer to get unvarnished comments, pro and con. Don’t be swayed by one or two posts on one site. You’re looking for a pattern across several different resources.
Check out health insurance industry reviews when looking for quality, low cost health insurance. Three good resources include National Committee for Quality Assurance, American Association of Healthcare Consultants and the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Their job is to evaluate the U.S. health care industry. Because they may rely on information provided by the insurance companies themselves, this isn’t your end-all, be-all reliable resource for evaluating health insurance quotes, but you might want to refer to at least one of these companies about any health insurance plan you’re considering. Be aware that some health care insurance companies may not have undergone the accreditation process required by these organizations. That doesn’t make them a bad choice. What you want to avoid is any company that has applied for and been denied accreditation.
Check out Standard & Poor’s or A.M. Best to see if the health insurance company you’re considering for your low cost health insurance coverage is financially healthy. That individual health insurance quote you got may not be such a bargain if the company offering it is on shaky financial ground.