Consumers shopping for products in the online health insurance will find out the types of plans offered; how much it will cost and their annual deductibles. They will be able to determine whether their families qualify for government subsidies. The following are some of the factors you need to consider before purchasing a health plan, including:
· Is my hospital/doctor in the plan?
This is a very important consideration in light of the fact that some insurance companies have created local networks of hospitals and doctors to keep the premiums low. When you consider a particular website, you may not be able to tell the breadth of the network. However, many of the sites provide links to insurance provider directories. Some sites will describe insurance providers as having either a limited or a broad network. Other websites allow shoppers to key in doctors’ names to find out about the plans they participate in. Considering directories are not always accurate or updated, it is important to double check by calling the service providers to determine whether they are participants in their plan.
· What drugs are covered?
The Medicare prescription drug website makes it possible for consumers to determine the drugs which have been covered by the program. With many of the other online plans, consumers shopping for insurance may not be in a position to enter the medications they take to determine the coverage provided by different plans. However, some of the websites feature links to insurance companies’ sites. Here, important information pertaining to prescription drugs and coverage is provided.
· How much is expected to be paid?
The health law expects insurance companies to provide a summary of coverage and benefits to consumers. This includes information about the annual deductibles and the charges for hospital care, doctor visits and prescription drugs (i.e. co-payments for generic, specialty drugs and brand names). The health law provides an overall limit for out-of-pocket costs for an individual or a family, annually. When you shop for coverage and enroll in coverage you need to determine the benefits derived from the plan.
· What is the level of quality & customer satisfaction?
The government often places some restrictions on posting information on quality. Therefore, consumers have little or no information pertaining to quality and customer satisfaction. However, recently some states have been considering measures of quality and as a result, they have come up with quality ratings to gauge health plans. Information pertaining to drug costs, maternity care, emergency room use or hospitalization will be used to determine the degree of customer satisfaction.