What’s the best health insurance in my state? Consumer Q&A
When it’s time to make a challenging consumer choice, most of us really value personal recommendations. We’ll ask friends and family, coworkers and even strangers which brand or product they like best, and why. It makes what can be an intimidating and impersonal shopping process feel more comfortable.
There are few consumer choices more challenging (but important!) than buying health insurance, especially if you’re buying it on your own for the first time. It’s no surprise then that a lot of people look for recommendations. We see this all the time on Yahoo Answers. But the fact is that personal recommendations can only go so far when it comes to medical coverage. We each have different needs and priorities and the health insurance plan that’s right for your friend isn’t necessarily right for you.
For example, last week we took a question from someone who wanted to know which health insurance company was the best in Washington state. The eHealthInsurance reply was voted Best Answer:
There are a number of reputable brand-name companies in your state and they have lots of plans to choose from. Rather than worry about which insurance company is best, however, you should think about which plan is best. Even if Insurer-A has a better reputation among most people in your state, Insurer-B may still have a plan that’s better suited to your personal needs and budget.
I recommend that you work with a licensed agent locally or online, one that represents multiple insurance companies in your area. It doesn’t cost anything extra to work through an agent and it can help you get a broader view of your options and pick the right plan for your particular needs. You’ll want to compare premiums, copayments, and deductibles, but you’ll also want to compare benefits and pick a plan that covers the medical services that matter most to you.
If you’re looking for some basic shopping tips and definitions for key terms, we published a health insurance buyer’s guide online that you can refer to.
If you want to go a bit more in-depth, we recently published a book titled “Individual Health Insurance For Dummies” and you can get a free electronic copy or request a free printed copy and we’ll mail it to you at no cost.
Photo via Flickr user DorkyMum