On Line Health Insurance Quotes
If your in-box is anything like mine, you are receiving an endless stream of offers for on-line health insurance quotes. If you are perfectly healthy and know enough about health insurance to be able to select a plan that is well suited for your situation, then this system will work well for you.
However, if you are dealing with some, even minor, pre-existing conditions, or you have not been keeping up on all the changes in the health insurance industry, it might behoove you to speak to an experienced health insurance broker like, modestly, me.
Pre-existing conditions? I promise you that different health insurance companies look very differently at certain pre-existing conditions like; depression, asthma, recent operations, gout, build (height vs. weight), DUI’s and many others. An experienced broker can steer you towards the company who will give your application the best chance of being accepted.
The “right” plan? Low priced health insurance plans often have hidden “gotchas.” These might include excessive co-insurance charges, limited or no doctors’ office visits, no “branded” prescription coverage, additional “access fees” for hospital/ER visits, no mental health coverage, etc. Unless you know what you are doing or have someone to point these “holes in coverage” out to you, you may end up buying a policy that excludes the very things you most want covered.
And, best of all, it costs you nothing to work with a broker; the insurance companies pay our commissions. The cost to you is the same either way.
So, give me a call at 303-541-9533, if you want to make sure you are getting the health insurance coverage you are paying for.
- Published in Applications, Individual Health Insurance, Premiums, Underwriting
How Long Will It Take For My Health Insurance Application To Be Approved?
I am often asked how long it takes to get an application for health insurance approved. The answer is always the same, “it depends on how long the insurance company takes to review or “underwrite” the information you submit. Underwriting is a term insurance companies use that basically means “background check.” Individual health insurance companies have the ability to pick and choose to whom they will offer coverage. So, they require that you fill out an application form, answering a comprehensive list of personal medical and life style questions.
Once they receive this information from you, the underwriting begins. In addition to reviewing the information you have provided, they may plug your Social Security number into something called the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). The MIB is a sort of clearing house that collects patient information from doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other insurance companies.
The underwriters may also call the applicant for clarification of details and, if need be, request records from your doctor before they are ready to make a decision on the application. The more information they need, the longer it takes for them to make an offer.
So, the answer to the question of how long it will take to get your application approved is, “usually a week to 10 days if doctors’ records are not required. If doctors’ records are required, it will take as long as it takes for the doctors’ office to respond to this request.”
That is why it is important to work with a knowledgeable insurance broker to fill out an application properly to avoid misunderstandings and delays from the onset.
If you’d like to find out what a professional individual health insurance broker can do for you, please give me a call at 303-541-9533.
- Published in Applications, Individual Health Insurance, Underwriting
Are Health Insurance Companies Leeches and Parasites?
I don’t believe so, but that is what I read in a recent comment section of an on-line article about health insurance.
Health insurance premiums have been going up at a much faster rate than inflation in general and many people attribute that to exorbitant heath insurance profits. But the truth of the matter is that 87% of every premium dollar goes to covering medical care and services.
What is driving up the cost of health care?
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Kaiser Family Foundation, BusinessWeek, Pricewaterhousecoopers and many other sources:
+ More expensive technology, used more often.
Are all those tests that add to your doctor’s income really necessary?
+ Doctors in the U.S. earn two to three times as much as other industrialized countries.
+ Medical price inflation
Expensive new tests, Rx and procedures drive 51% of the growth in health care spending.
+ Cost shifting
Underpayments of Medicare and Medicaid are picked up by private insurance companies.
+ High cost of complying with government regulations.
Private health insurance companies spend $339.2 billion in order to comply with government health regulations.
+ Poor patient lifestyles
+ Healthcare fraud and abuse
Conservatively estimated at 3% of total annual healthcare spending.
Someone is getting rich on your premium, but with health insurance companies averaging 3 cents profit for dollar they received, they may not be the villains may people think they are.
Next time you drive by one of those new marble palaces that passes for a hospital today, ask yourself “who’s paying for this?”
- Published in Individual Health Insurance, Misc