Monday, August 2, 2010

Low Cost Medical Insurance

Medical costs have been rising over the last several years, and have reached levels that an average middle class family cannot afford in the event of a major illness or accidents. With increase in medical facilities and better-equipped hospitals, this is perhaps inevitable, but that doesn’t make it less worrying if you are affected.
The best course open to individuals under these circumstances is to opt for medical insurance. The cost of medical insurance is high, and when you consider the fact that you don’t get much in return other than when an illness afflicts you, the cost of your medical insurance merits serious consideration. Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this dilemma. You can shop for the best possible combination of coverage and cost.

First of all, you could check out on the governmental and other help available to you in this regard. If you live in a country like the United States and are either elderly or very poor, the government comes to your aid through schemes like Medicare and Medicaid. If you are not covered by any such program, as most likely you are not, then what do you do?

The first step towards obtaining a low cost health insurance is to know what is being offered and how it is priced. Knowing the alternatives in terms of facilities and prices will help you to make decisions that can reduce your cost of medical insurance without compromising on your real requirements. Knowledge, in this case, is truly power and money. You could get this knowledge by doing some research on the Internet. There are a number of sites that offer you comparative information on medical insurance plans, which you can refer before finalizing your medical insurance coverage.

Learn about the different options available to you; research the company and the agent you are proposing to deal with; find out what you are covered for.

Some of the ways by which you can reduce your medical insurance costs are given below:

· Pay premiums annually. This will help you avoid or reduce the service fee and might also earn you discounts
· Review your policy regularly. Make sure that it covers your real requirements and does not have additional cover that you may not need. For example, additional coverage for pregnancy may not be really required for you and the normal coverage for this might be quite sufficient for your anticipated needs
· Keep a reasonable limit on the ceiling of medical expenditure in your policy. If you don’t have a ceiling or if you have a very high ceiling, you may be covering every eventuality but may also be paying higher for the coverage unnecessarily. Match the terms of the policy to your needs.
· If you have to file insurance claims, make sure that you keep all the documents available and know what you are covered for. In case you are not sure about whether a particular disease or treatment is covered. File your claim anyway
· Group plans are another way in which you can reduce your medical insurance costs. Find out about group plans and how they apply to you. See if your company, or member organization, such as your local Chamber of Commerce have a plan in place.
· Carry a higher deductible amount: The amount of expenditure that you opt to bear yourself has a great bearing on the medical insurance cost. If you are comparatively free from minor illnesses and you would like to be covered only for major illnesses, you can opt for a higher deductible reducing your premium without sacrificing the coverage you desire.
· If you discover a serious medical condition, it is better to continue with your existing insurer, as going to a new insurer will almost certainly increase your costs and will likely limit, or exclude, coverage for any pre-existing conditions.
· Avoid supplemental insurance. Supplemental insurance is a policy that gives you additional cash for the same illness that is covered by another insurance.

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