If you have health insurance provided by an employer, you don’t have to do much at all beyond selecting from the menu of options once a year. But if you’re newly retired and under 65, recently unemployed without COBRA, lost coverage once provided by a spouse or you own your own sole proprietorship, you’re on your own. Here are some tips when to shop for individual health insurance quotes online.
When you first begin to shop for individual health insurance quotes online, you’ll be given rough estimates for the costs of the various plans available per your specifications. This gives you a ballpark number for what your average monthly cost for health insurance will be. Sooner or later, however, you’re going to have to complete a detailed application.
You’re not going to believe the obscure information you’ll be asked to remember when you’re filling out the application forms for individual health insurance. Do you remember the names and dosages of prescription medications you taken in the past five years? You will be asked these and many similar types of questions about every “yes” answer you give on the health history questionnaire section.
Do yourself a favor when you’re filling out the forms for health insurance quotes online – gather up the types of data shown below before you start the process. While most online insurance providers will let you save partially completed forms and return later, why not be prepared? The sooner you complete the application, the sooner you can qualify for an individual health insurance policy.
Names, addresses and phone numbers of all your doctors
Dates and reason for each doctor visit, outpatient procedure and hospitalization
Treatments received or recommended and the outcomes
Medication prescribed, date prescribed and date you quit taking it
Any abnormal lab test results
Yes, you can give approximate dates, but understand that there may be a follow-up interview from the insurance provider, who may also check with your doctors to confirm information. Nobody is going to fault you for being a few months off, or for forgetting that you were once prescribed eye drops four years ago. But outright lying, falsifying or willfully omitting information (like say cancer surgery or a heart attack) is a very, very bad idea. Even if you initially qualify for the individual health insurance policy, if it comes to light that you knowingly provided false information, you can be charged with fraud and subject to criminal and civil penalties. When it comes to shop for individual health insurance quotes online (or off), honest is definitely the best policy.