Tag Archives: Texas Health Insurance

Answers to 5 Common Questions About Texas Health Insurance

Although Texas ranks the highest among U.S. states in the number of uninsured residents, obtaining affordable Texas medical insurance is easier and more affordable than you think. Here are answers to five common questions about getting health insurance in Texas.

1. I’m young and healthy. Why should I spend money for medical insurance that I’ll never use?

Having insurance is like carrying an umbrella. You may not need it most of the time, but when there’s a torrential downpour you’ll be glad you have it. Even young and healthy people have accidents, seasonal illnesses, and sometimes tragic health issues. If you wind up having a serious medical condition, it can become very difficult to obtain Texas medical insurance, or your preexisting condition may be excluded from your coverage. In addition, you can get much lower premiums when you’re young and healthy, so health insurance provides excellent protection at very little cost.

2. Is there a benefit to using a health insurance agency, as opposed to getting quotes for policies on my own or going through a single agent?

A health insurance agency provides a number of benefits. First, they have established relationships with many, many insurance companies. This means that they have access to all of the best Texas medical insurance plans in the marketplace, while not having a bias toward any single insurer. This is in contrast to some individual agents, who work on behalf of one or two companies, and who will try and push you to sign up with their company. While you can research various plans on your own, a health insurance agency will do the legwork for you and present you will all available options, at no charge to you.

3. What’s the most important feature to consider when buying health insurance?

There are two important features that people often overlook: the lifetime maximum coverage and the maximum out-of-pocket expense. Although your more immediate concerns might be co-payments for doctors’ visits and prescription coverage, if you or a family member experiences a catastrophic illness, your overall coverage and out-of-pocket costs are much more crucial. Look for a policy that offers lifetime maximum coverage of $3 million or more, and a yearly out-of-pocket maximum in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.

4. Can I trust online comparisons for Texas health insurance?

Yes. The law requires that identical plans have identical pricing, regardless of whether you go directly through the insurer or use a health insurance agency. In other words, if you’re looking at the XYZ company’s Plan A, you will receive the same quote whether you get it online, place a phone call, or visit an insurance agency or company. Keep in mind though, that the price you pay may depend upon a number of variables, including your age, your gender, whether or not you smoke, and any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have. The final price is in large part determined by your medical history.

5. What’s the difference between an HMO and a PPO?

When it comes to Texas medical insurance, a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires that, for non-emergency services, you use their physicians and hospitals. A preferred provider organization (PPO) allows you to visit any health care provider, but gives you more benefits if you use health care professionals and services within their network.

How to Shop Online for Texas Health Insurance

Shopping online for Texas health insurance might sound counterintuitive, but in our Information Age, you can actually get real-time quotes, do comparison shopping, and find the right coverage for you and your family.

Before you begin shopping online for Texas medical insurance, you should know that the law dictates that any given plan from a certain carrier has to be priced the same, whether the person being insured buys health insurance through a broker, a health insurance agency, or through the insurance company itself. However, the final price you pay may depend upon variables like your gender, your medical history, lifestyle factors, and your age.

When you select an online source that provides information and pricing for Texas health insurance, look for one that is actually located in Texas, that offers a buyer’s guide to shopping for Texas medical insurance, and that provides real-time quotes. Most importantly, the services they provide should be free to you as the consumer. The insurance companies pay insurance agencies when they enroll people in health plans; it is against the law to charge consumers for their services. In the same vein, be sure to choose an online source that offers quotes from many insurance companies, all of whom are the top tier of health insurance companies. In addition, you want to do business with an insurance agency that offers service to you even after you sign on the dotted line. Free phone support, and support throughout the time you are enrolled in the health care plan is a must.

Once on the site, your search for health insurance should be a simple, three-step process. You should be able to get quotes, compare plans, and then apply online. The first step is generally filling out contact information for yourself. Next, you’ll be asked for some preliminary information about you and about family members you wish to ensure. You’ll most likely be asked for birth dates, genders, heights and weights, as well as whether each potential insured is a smoker, a student, and currently insured.

The system should then generate a range of plans from a number of insurers. For each quote, the following should be listed: company name, plan name, links to plan details and doctors, the plan type (such as a health maintenance organization, a preferred provider organization, or a health savings account), the deductible, the co-insurance, the co-pay, and the estimated monthly premium. You should also be able to sort the search results by any of these factors.

The best sources for online Texas health insurance will allow you to customize your search by monthly premium, plan type, deductible, co-insurance, co-pay, and carrier. They will also enable you to compare plans by clicking on boxes next to the plans that most interest you.

When you’re ready to take the next step, you should also be able to apply online. The site should allow you to fill out an online form, download and print an application, or request that an application is sent to you via email, mail, or fax. If you apply online, make sure that the application is from a secure server (you can tell by the “https” at the beginning of the URL”).

When shopping for Texas health insurance online, you should expect to receive the same level of service as if you were inviting an insurance broker into your home. When you choose the right online source, you’ll have a partner in securing your health coverage and your future.