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Protecting Your Health

Nov 14, 2007
Health insurance protects your biggest and most crucial asset - your health. It is an agreement between the insurer and the customer to provide and pay for your medical care such as injuries and illnesses. Essentially it provides you with a certain degree of protection against financial hardships caused by injuries or the onset of an illness, including terminal conditions. The steady rising costs of medical treatment is a major cause for concern for many people especially for the elderly. Although health insurance premiums have increased substantially over the years, the reality is that it is a necessity that you can ill afford to do without. Nobody can predict or tell with confidence what might become of your health in the future. Having a policy that helps pay for your medical expenses will at least remove a lot of the stress that comes with undergoing treatment for a particular illness. It allows you to concentrate on getting better.

What Exactly Are You Paying For?

As the health insurance market is quite competitive, it pays to spend time searching for a policy that provides you with adequate cover at a premium that is affordable to you and your family. Read the fine prints and comb through the exclusions to ensure you are purchasing the right policy that provides a good level of coverage. Some medical procedures are not covered even though they may be medically necessary in treating your illness unless you pay extra premium for them. These will inevitably push up the cost of your premium, ask yourself - can you do without them? How likely are you to suffer from that condition? Are you able to meet the costs of treatment yourself should the worst happen?

You can achieve a lower premium by raising your voluntary deductibles. Raising costs such as co-pays and deductibles will make the policy more affordable. However if you have a condition which requires frequent visits to the hospital or have other chronic illness, these expenses could quickly add up and cost you a fortune. Some health insurance providers offer group discount - for example if your spouse also takes out a health insurance policy with the same insurer or that you include your children in the same policy. Also be honest when disclosing your medical history, do not hold back any pre-existing conditions as this may jeopardise or invalidate your claim when you most need it. Identify the prescription drug coverage and whether you can stay with your existing doctor or if you will need to change to one that is appointed by the health insurance company. Factors such as being a smoker, your age, your family medical history, whether your overall alcohol consumption exceeds a certain level and whether you are overweight may influence the premium you pay each month.

Make use of the department of insurance in your state where you can get access to expert advice on which health insurance company to use to find the best product for you. Go with an established company with a proven history and a good reputation even though it may cost you a little more, it will pay off in the long term.
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