February 17, 2006, Newsletter Issue #20: How to Determine Quality

Tip of the Week

When youíre buying a health insurance policy on your own, you need to pay attention to quality as well as price. Here are 5 questions to help you determine a planís quality.

1. Have any complaints been filed against the company or the plan? Find out from your stateís insurance department how many complaints were reported in the past year, and how many the state upheld.

2. Is there a high rate of disenrollment? You can also check with your state to find out if a high number of members drop out of the plan each year.

3. How convenient are the planís services? Do the pharmacies, physicians and other plan service providers have locations and hours of operation that are convenient for you?

4. Is preventative care paid for? Preventative care is your best defense against poor health and big hospital bills in the future. Will you have access to preventative care such as screenings and immunizations?

5. What does your doctor think? If your current doctor participates in the plan, ask them for their opinion on the quality. You can also ask any participating doctor. Ask the insurance company to provide you with a list.

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