Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Health insurance shopping: Top questions to ask

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Oprah recently aired the show Sick in America: It Can Happen to You. Kimberly Lankford, insurance expert and author of The Insurance Maze, shared six strategies for landing not only health insurance, but the right policy for you.

  • Make sure your maximum coverage is between $3 and $5 million or a major illness could jeopardize your finances.
  • Higher deductibles ($1,100/individual or $2,200/family) significantly lower monthly premiums. They also qualify for a health savings account for tax savings.
  • Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits for errors. They're more common than you think.
  • Keep meticulous records and secure answers to your questions in writing to fight disputes down the line.
  • Periodically review your health insurance needs and options to find the best fit. Speak up to Human Resources if you're having a bad experience with your employer's health insurance company, others are likely feeling the same.
  • In a dispute? Lean on your state insurance department for appeal advice.

Good tips -- I'm fighting two ER bills right now that were coded incorrectly -- sticking us with 20% of the ER/physician/radiology costs versus a $50 ER co-pay.

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