Health Insurance Hopping

June 6, 2008 on 4:32 am | In Health Insurance | No Comments

As the cost of your health insurance keeps rising, before you consider canceling and joining the 47 million Americans who uninsured, consider just changing carriers.

Health insurance companies calculate financial risk by determining who is most likely to actually use their services and costs them money. They have found that you are more likely to use their services after you’ve had them for many years then and during the initial years. Somehow statistically that makes sense. As a result your insurance policy continues to raise an average of 15% per year. It has less to do with your history, or even your age than it has to do with how long you’ve been insured with that company

The way to deal with this situation is to change policies to change companies every few years. Many insurance agents I know make their living helping people doing this. It helps the agent earned top commission and it helps the consumer can get better rates.

Before you take this leap however, there are a few things you need to consider, one of which is that if you have developed a condition during the years in which you’ve been insured with one company, that condition may not be covered by the new company, – at least not for a number of years.

Whatever you do, do not cancel your old policy until you’ve acquired a new one, and don’t shop around on your own. Find a reputable broker., or independent agent, one who represents a variety of companies. He or she will be able to tell you, without conflict of interest, if one particular carrier may be better for your particular circumstances than another, or that you might be better off staying with what you have, or even seeing if you can piggyback on your spouses group policy.

There are even ways to save money by having several policies, each covering one aspect of your health needs. Carriers are offering alternatives to comprehensive coverage, some of which are quite creative and may hit your target. On the other hand, some of these alternative methods, though pulling less out-of-pocket in the short run, could lead to greater exposure and less true coverage under certain circumstances. Having a broker you trust, to whom you can address questions, is a very good idea.

The health-insurance industry is in a constant flux. Prices are changing all the time. Coverage is also changing all the time. Research online. Find a website with a quoting engine and spend some time comparing the various prices and coverage available in your area. Then discuss them with your independent agent.

The world of health insurance is complicated and confusing, but do not join the 47 million Americans will be unprotected in an emergency.

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