How Do You Buy Health Insurance?

By Robert Fredricks Posted in Health Insurance News

Complex Maze Of Plans

Many people without health insurance find the task of pouring over policies and plans overwhelming and a little scary. Navigating the maze of insurance plans requires patience and attention to detail.

The first step is to figure out where you will be getting your health insurance from. If your employer offers health coverage for you and your family, contact your human resources department for a list of the types of insurance plans offered. Each plan should come with a detailed description of the type of coverage and the out-of-pocket expenses, including monthly premiums. Most employer-provided health insurance can be paid through your check in the form of a deduction.


If you are self-employed or do not have a job that provides health insurance, then shopping for health insurance online is an easy and pain-free way of purchasing health insurance. The first step for you is determining how much coverage and what plan you might be interested in. There are several basic plans that all insurance companies offer. An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization is usually the most popular plan. For a lower monthly premium and a small co-pay, an HMO offers stable access to healthcare.

If you are a relatively healthy person an HMO is an inexpensive way to get health insurance. Under an HMO, you must choose one primary care physician who manages your healthcare needs. If you need to see a specialist you must get a referral from you primary care physician (PCP). Another plan, PPO or Preferred Provider Option, comes with a higher premium and often a deductible but offers more freedom to move around within the healthcare system. With a PPO you are limited to one PCP and are free to schedule appointments with specialists without referrals. There are various sub-options within these plans to choose from depending on your needs and financial status.

Do Your Research

These are just a few of the types of plans available. Do your research before you purchase your health insurance. Many companies also offer a hassle-free premium payment plan. Your monthly premium can be paid through an online billing service offered through your bank or through an automatic charge to a major credit card.

The easiest way to find the right plan(s) for you is to determine your needs and how much you can afford monthly on healthcare before you buy. Most companies will offer a free online assessment or quote which will determine an estimated cost for health insurance.

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