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10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Insurance
Insurance is quite an investment, and it’s very important that you get the coverage you’re expecting. To do that, the best thing to be able to do is to ask the right questions before you buy. You’ll have fewer surprises and you’ll feel more confident that you made the right choice.
Here are 10 questions worth asking so that you know what you’re investing in:
1. What is the network?
Depending on whether your policy has a network or not (our Inbound plans, for example, have no network) you may have specific doctors that are “in-network” in your area. These providers are familiar with the insurance and have a contract with us. Because of this, you may receive discounts on your bills. Check which network your plan uses so that you know which doctors would be best for you to visit.
2. What is my coverage out of network?
Some plans have the same coverage whether you choose an in-network provider or not. Others, though, will not cover as much. Check to make sure you won’t be surprised if you have to go to an out-of-network provider.
3. What is the percentage paid, or the dollar limit for my coverage? Are there any sub-limits?
Some plans, called comprehensive plans, cover a certain percentage of your costs. Some other plans, called scheduled benefit plans, cover up to a certain dollar amount of your costs. There may also be more limits besides your overall medical maximum. Make sure you know what the limits and sub-limits are in your plan, so that you know how much to expect to pay after your insurance makes its payment.
4. How much is the deductible?
The deductible is the amount of medical costs you have to pay before your insurance company starts contributing. So, make sure you choose the right deductible amount to fit your needs. A high deductible is fine if you want affordable coverage and don’t expect to have to use it for smaller expenses. But if you do expect to have smaller expenses, like multiple doctor visits, a lower deductible could benefit you, so that you won’t be paying for the first 5 visits out of pocket.
5. Does this plan include pharmacy coverage?
Some plans cover prescriptions completely, while others only have partial coverage. Some drugs may be covered while others are not. Make sure you know what your plan covers if you expect to need prescriptions. You’ll also want to know whether your plan requires you to pay out-of-pocket at the pharmacy and file a claim later to be reimbursed, or whether the pharmacy can just bill the insurance directly.
6. Will this cover my pre-existing conditions?
Pre-existing conditions are a big deal if you’re considering short-term coverage. Some plans will cover illnesses you’ve had for a while, but others may not. Some plans only cover emergency acute onset of those illnesses. Check to know what conditions you have that will be covered if they pop back up suddenly.
7. What is the claims process?
As fate would have it, you may have to use the insurance policy you purchased. So, if you do, you’ll have to know what to expect when you file a claim. Figure out how to file a claim, how long processing takes, and any deadlines you may have to file a claim. Gather this before you purchase so that you know what work you’ll have to do when filing a claim becomes necessary.
8. What is the appeal process?
The dreaded day may come that one of your claims is denied. If your claim is denied, and you believe that your policy should have covered it, know what to do about it ahead of time. Ask for the details of the appeal process so that again you know what will be involved.
9. Can I renew this plan and for how long?
In case you want to extend your coverage, can you? Some plans may not let you renew past a certain point, and some may not let you renew unless you do it before it expires. Check with our administration department for more details about renewing your plan.
10. Can I cancel my coverage?
This is a big one. If something better comes along, or you don’t realize your plan doesn’t cover something important to you, you may have to cancel. With some policies, you’ll get all your money back. With others, you may not get any. Sometimes, you can only get a refund if you’ve never filed a claim. Check with the administration department for cancellation details just in case.
Got any other pre-purchase questions? Contact our sales department and ask! 800.335.0611
About the Author
Julia Peterson joined the Seven Corners Customer Service team in February 2016. She is known as a writer and photographer, an extrovert, and master of the Rubik’s cube. She works from home in Michigan where she lives with her husband and her orange, half-blind cat, Murphy.