The health plan is decided. The premium is sorted out. And then pops the big question – what about the insurance carrier? There are hundreds of them, seem all the same and offer confusingly similar plans. You do a background research on each of these companies and they all have almost similar achievements to boast of. And you are left with a endless list of insurance carriers to make your choice from.
To begin with, insurance companies like the MVP, with an expanse of history behind them, are a good bet. They have been in the market long enough to have proved their credibility and one can be rest assured that they won’t just fold up and disappear one fine day. These insurance companies have lived up to the beneficiaries’ demands and expectations over a period of time and have managed to secure their trust.
Not just the age, the expanse of the company across America as well as the affiliate healthcare network is an important criterion. Not all companies operate in all states and nor do they have the license to do so. A company could have a larger network across the country like the Blue Cross Blue Shield or may have restricted itself only to a few stated like the MVP. A good place to check out if an insurance carrier has the license and the certification to operate in a particular state is to check out the state insurance department’s website. They will have a list of all those carriers that operate legally in that state.
While examining an insurance carrier, one should be looking at the following factors:
– Policy Options: While the broad offers on the policy remains the same across companies, certain health plans are specific to the company and the state alone. The more options a company has, the more coverage it provides per plan, the better it is for you as a consumer.
– Pricing: An ideal company should offer competitive pricing. There is no reason why anyone would go in for an expensive plan when there is a cheaper option available for the same coverage. Alternatively, if a company is offering much cheaper premiums than the market rates, then instead of getting carried away, the consumer should ask how the company is able to afford such low rates.
– Drug Coverage: Though getting covered for medical treatments is the primary concern, some kind of drug coverage is also necessary. Drug coverage becomes vital when a person needs maintenance medication.
– Doctor preference and hospital coverage: An insurance carrier that lets you consult a doctor of your own choice and covers hospital expenses in the geographical area where the coverage is needed will surely be a favourite as compared to others.
Apart from all these, the most important thing that distinguishes an insurance company is the overall reputation it has. Now there are several ways to determine that. There are several companies such as A.M. Best and Moody’s that rate insurance companies. A rating of A and above is a sign of a good carrier. Several other factors customer base and testimonials from friends and family indicate the reputation of the company. For example, MVP operates only in New Hampshire, New York and Vermont but has more than 75000 satisfied customers to its credit. A personal recommendation from family or friend is however the best advertisement that a company can get.
The health plan you choose is no doubt important, but what is equally significant is the health carrier you choosing your plan from. The right combination of both will ensure that you not only have a healthy future but peace of mind as well.