Being a small business owner, I’m responsible for my own insurance. It’s one of those things that’s a big concern when you first jump into entrepreneurship. It’s quite a different story when you’re on your own and wondering how to get health benefits. So where and how do you get your insurance plans? I’ve got relatives and friends in the insurance industry, so there’s no shortage of good insurance agents whom I can deal with. But if you’d like to do some comparison shopping for insurance policies and carriers, an online site like eHealthInsurance may offer some value. Let’s check out what it does:
First thing to know — eHealthInsurance is not an insurance company, but a site that serves as a marketplace for insurance. They have relationships with a good number of insurance companies whose data they keep in their system. They try to match you, the consumer, with possible low cost health insurance plans based on your profile. Ultimately, by using their free service, you you can get quotes from a variety of health insurance companies, compare them, then apply for the plan you want online. Of course, you’re doing the work here on your own, so it may take time and effort to do the sufficient research to figure things out.
Low Cost Health Insurance Plans from eHealthInsurance.com
So how can eHealthInsurance.com and similar sites like this help?
eHealthInsurance Review: Individual or Family Health Insurance
If you need health insurance for yourself, spouse, or children, this site is a starting point for your search for individual and family health insurance plans. You’ll be asked to enter information, including those personal characteristics that build your profile: your gender, date of birth, tobacco usage, and if you’re a full-time college student. You’ll also need to enter the date you want coverage to begin and your zip code.
Once you enter your data, you’ll find that eHealthInsurance’s picks will include low cost medical plans from carriers such as Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, and a whole host of others. The costs of these plans and deductibles will have varied ranges. Some of the plans feature e-approval or 24-hour approval.
Clicking on the details of a plan will show you what you’ll be charged for office visits, prescription drug coverage, annual out-of-pocket limits, and more. To apply for the plan, you’re required to create an account. Your application (which includes your contact information) is secure and encrypted.
Student Health Insurance
Although many families elect to keep their children on their health insurance plans, some college students prefer a student health insurance plan. eHealthInsurance offers plans for both undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled with at least nine credits at a college or university.
Before you can get your quotes, you’ll need to fill out a form that asks for your residential zip code, the school’s zip code, state of residence while in school, payment options (semi-annual or annual), and the requisite identifying information. Coverage lasts year-round, so you don’t have to worry about it lapsing during the summer.
Short-Term Health Insurance
Sometimes, not having health insurance is a temporary situation. For example, if you won’t be eligible for your new job’s health insurance plan for six months, you still need some kind of coverage. Or maybe you just left college and you aren’t on your parents’ plan anymore. In this case, short-term insurance can help.
When you begin the search, you can choose between monthly payments or a single, upfront payment. For some, that upfront payment might end up being cheaper. Your term can be as short as a month or up to a year, depending on the carrier.
As a sample scenario, I wanted to find out what results a male non-smoker in my zip code would get. The search results yielded six-month plans with deductibles that ran from $50 to $5,000. Premiums ranged from a low of $23 per month all the way up to $77 per month. Offering these plans were familiar companies like BlueCross BlueShield, Assurant, United Health, and others. Up to 90 plans were available.
Earlier on, I asked about where I could get dental insurance. Well, one option is to check out eHealthInsurance. But how good are the plans they recommend? You can look at plans with preventive, basic, and major dental services. Typically, your monthly premium will cover services like x-rays, cleanings, checkups, and others. You may have to pay out of pocket for some services. The managed-care plans usually have a network of participating dentists who can submit your claims to the insurance company for you; the indemnity plans allow you to pay for services so you can be reimbursed by your carrier later. There appear to be many choices here you can check out.
Once more, I entered some sample information and was shown five different dental plans. These plans came from providers like BlueCross BlueShield, Security Life Insurance of America, Bay Dental Plan, and United Healthcare. They ranged in price from $17 to $33 per month, with deductibles from $0 to $200. In addition, there were 19 more plans available.
Coverage for Small Business/Groups
If you run a small business or group, you can find out about group health insurance, business Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), group dental insurance, and even group vision plans. Group plans or HSAs like these can help you and your employees or group find beneficial rates.
While most people have health insurance covered through their employers, there are those who may need to turn to private insurance plans. Given the health care costs we have today, it may not be the easiest thing to find affordable insurance. I’d suggest shopping around and comparing policies before committing to a plan.
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