Friday, August 31, 2007

High Deductible Health Insurance Plans For Individuals and Families

By Michael Ertel

Do you pay more attention to your car than your body? You change your oil every 3000 to 4000 miles. You have your tires rotated every other oil change. Your air filter and brake pads are changed at the appropriate intervals.

Now, what about your body? You follow the recommended AMA guidelines for routine check ups and other healthcare services. You pay special attention to make sure you eat a balanced diet and always take the time to get enough exercise. The reality is many Americans pay more attention to the maintenance of their car than they do their body.

From an insurance perspective, your automobile insurance company has a certain expectation that you will take reasonable care of your car. Things such as the routine maintenance of brakes and making sure your turning signals work properly are expected by your insurance company. Basic common sense says that proper automobile maintenance reduces traffic accidents and saves both you and your insurance company money.

Health insurance consumers can benefit by taking a similar approach to taking care of their body. For the average American, regular exercise, routine check ups and following your doctor’s advice will reduce your healthcare costs in the long run. It is really very simple. By doing the things necessary to stay healthy, you will need to seek medical care less frequently.

Even with a commitment to stay healthy, you will still need health insurance coverage to take care of the unexpected and sometimes unavoidable catastrophic situations. However, instead of paying the insurance company for a $250 deductible, many individuals would benefit by purchasing a high deductible health insurance plan.

Depending on the specific situation, it is not uncommon for individuals and families to save up to 25% on premiums with a high deductible plan. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can then be set up to coordinate with the high deductible plan. Approaching health care and health insurance wisely will benefit both your body and pocketbook.

Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company ( ) and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.
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How To Pick A Good Health Insurance Company

By John Hasson, Jr.

What good is life if you can't enjoy it? Health insurance helps ensure that you will be able to live your life fully. So, health insurance is very important indeed. There is no perfect plan already set up and there is no one single perfect provider. What you need to do is choose the plan that is perfect for you (your personal needs given your situation) at the lowest price. That is the best deal out there for you.

What Coverages Will Be Best For Me?

If you are not worried about paying out of pocket for doctor visits and such, and they are few and far apart, and you are young and healthy, then perhaps all you need is a catastrophic health insurance plan. Catastrophic coverage will only cover, yep, you guessed it, things that are catastrophic. Your coverage plan will have a detailed list of things considered catastrophic such as you get your head smashed in a car wreck or you wake up one morning and discover you have cancer. This type of coverage is the cheapest but obviously, very needed for everyone.

Additional Coverages

Usually when one thinks about what one wants covered, we remember to take into consideration doctor visits, injuries, illnesses, lab work, hospital stays, and those kinds of fun things, but there are many additional things that many do not think about that requires additional coverage. Suppose you needed a root canal, or your mind was no longer quite there, or, you became pregnant? You would need health care for those things along with, I am sure, plenty of prescription drugs to go along with it which also, by the way, usually requires additional coverage as well unless you plan on paying out of pocket.

So, never assume you are covered for something. Have the whole coverage list in front of you so you won't forget to cover yourself for something you may regret in the future. For example, did you realize that some plans have additional options called wellness benefits that can help you pay for classes to help you stop bad habits hazard to your health, memberships to help you stay in shape, and consultations for your nutritional needs? There are usually more options than people realize, so make sure you know them all, then pick and choose from the entire list of options to tailor your plan exactly how you need it to be.

The Best Way To Protect Yourself Through Your Coverages

It is especially important to make sure all your needs will be met if you have your health insurance through your employer. Do not assume that any health insurance through your employer will be good enough for you. You may need to add additional benefits to your insurance to get the proper coverage that you need. And, of course, one must be honest on all the forms. It would be horrific to be denied coverage after paying premiums for so long only because of a question on the form answered dishonestly. Remember, your coverage is based on the forms you fill out, so be as detailed and accurate as possible. The coverage only covers the person on the form, not anyone else!

Should I Get An HMO Plan Or A PPH Plan?

HMO (health maintenance organizations) or also known as managed care, are typically less expensive but you are limited to using only their very specific network of doctors and therefore, hospitals as well. If you go anywhere else for your care you will have to pay full price. Your main doctor (primary care physician) will refer you to a specialist if the need is present. You will not simply be able to go wherever. However, many HMO plans now offer more choices to help ease the burden of being so constricted.

PPH (preferred provider health insurance plans) are more flexible in that you can choose from many more doctors and hospitals because they usually have many other providers also registered with them, but you also pay more for that flexibility.

So, you must decide which is more important to you, more flexibility or paying less for insurance. Once you decide that you will be able to decide on the plan.

How Can I Save On My Health Insurance Plan?

First of all, if you can get your health insurance through your employer, then chances are that that is going to be the best deal for you financially because your employer is going to be paying part of that cost and usually, insurance companies give good discounts for many purchased all at once. That is not to say that that is going to be sufficient coverage for you, as mentioned earlier, but you can always add onto that insurance plan as needed. The older you get the more expensive health insurance will get, so it will be especially good to get any kind of discount you can, especially when you are older.

If both spouses work with each spouse on a different insurance covered through their work, depending on the insurances, it may be cheaper to have both on one. That you will need to figure out to see which option is cheapest for you.

Another great way to save money, just like auto insurance, is to up your deductible (the money you are required to pay before your insurance will help you out). The larger your deductible, the lower your premiums (your monthly payments to stay insured). Just make sure that you will be able to pay your large deductible should the occasion arise (if something major happened).

How To Pick A Good Health Insurance Company

Call their customer service with as many questions as you can think of and see how they handle it! And, see how long you are on hold for. If calling them seems like a nightmare than chances are they are not the right company for you!

Of course, there is always word of mouth too, which works great, and there are many forums on-line to read about what others have to say. Ratings are good to look at too. Experiences from friends and relatives are among the most important ways to tell how a company will treat you as well. You can compare quotes online at

FoxQuotes provides competitive insurance quotes online. You fill out a simple form and compare quotes. FoxQuotes also provides helpful articles for choosing your insurance and live chat when available.

Article Source:,_Jr.

Health Insurance - The Role Of The Broker

By Donald Saunders

For many people, seeking health insurance is a daunting prospect with a number of companies to choose from each offering a range of policies which can be both complex and difficult to decipher. For this reason it is often wise to employ the services of a broker to match your needs to the right health insurance company and policy.

Having chosen a broker it is a simple matter of giving him your medical details, including details of such things as any pre-existing conditions from which you are suffering and medications you are currently taking, and a list of the things that would wish to see covered in your policy. The broker then looks at a variety of companies and different policies and comes back to you with his recommendations. Once you have had a chance to study these, and to ask any questions that you might have, the broker will then work with you to get your health insurance contract signed and your policy issued.

It is important to understand that a health insurance broker works independently and is not employed by any particular health insurance company. His job is to study the health insurance market and to acquaint himself with the full range of cover available, as well as with how each insurance company operates including such things as its reputation, the frequency with which it increases premiums and the manner in which it handles claims.

Although the broker is independent it is also important to understand that he makes his money by way of a commission each time a contract is completed and that his commission will vary from one insurance company to the next. You may well feel therefore that it is in his interest to recommend a policy to you which earns him the highest commission. If this is something that concerns you then you should discuss this with the broker. If he is a sound and reputable broker he will have no difficulty in discussing this openly with you.

Despite the fact that the broker will be earning commission from the sale of your policy, which effectively comes from your premiums, it does not necessarily follow that a policy purchased through a broker will be more expensive and you will usually find that the same policy purchased directly from the company will cost you exactly the same amount as money as you will end up paying in buying through a broker.

In addition, a broker will often be able to find you a deal which you are unlikely to uncover on your own simply as a result of his knowledge of the marketplace.

Surprisingly, perhaps because the rules on health insurance are constantly changing, health insurance brokers are fairly thin on the ground. In addition, most states require health insurance brokers to be licensed and the licensing requirements vary from state to state.

If you feel confident about seeking out your own health insurance policy and are happy that you can understand the technicalities of a health insurance contract and the details of the small print then all well and good. But, if this is not the case, then a health insurance broker could turn out to be your best friend.

Whether you are looking for a standard low cost health insurance plan or a more specialized form of medical insurance such as an interim health insurance plan then the best place to start your search for a suitable broker is right here on the internet.

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Health Insurance Buying Tips

By Caroline Mercy

Dealing with small businesses

Small businesses that have difficulty finding good coverage directly from insurers, would like to contact their state department of health insurance to get knowledge about small business group health providers in their area. Another alternative for small businesses could be to join an effective association, which offers group benefits for their members. Companies need to be very careful to scrutinize the operations of such organizations to make sure that all funds are taken care appropriately.

Avoid certain policies

One needs to be careful for hospital indemnity policies and dread disease policies. Hospital indemnity pays you each day as long as you are in the hospital. Unfortunately, most do not provide sufficient policy coverage to even cover the typically daily cost of hospital stay. Dread diseases policies do cover specific illnesses but then tend to be more expensive than the likelihood of contracting one of these diseases will suggest.

Employee’s options

During 2004, according to a survey only 14% of companies with fewer than 200 employees offered more one health insurance care option. However 56% of companies with 200 to 1000 employees offered multiple options, and around 76% of companies with 1000 and above. Offering more than one plan gives your employees the freedom to choose their own plan, which is best suited. There may be little additional cost to you, so it could really improve employee satisfactions and you can make sure your small business look bigger.

Understand the law

If in case you decide to create your own health care plan, you need to make sure to do enough research to understand the need you have to meet. There are many laws and regulations attached when selecting health insurance that govern health care, and many state also have their own regulations, too.

Caroline Mercy is a SEO copywriter for California Health Online as well. She has involved herself in this field for more than 3 years. For further details related to the article you can visit the site . You can contact her through mail at
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Where To Find Cheap Health Insurance

By Bob Hett

Health insurance costs are rising all the time. Many people feel they cannot afford health insurance. Others feel that they don’t need it because they are healthy and have never had any major medical problems. This is definitely faulty thinking on their part. As a matter of fact, you do need health insurance, and there are a lot of ways to get affordable health insurance for yourself or your family. Health insurance is protection against the possible health problems that could happen in the future, and you have absolutely no way of knowing what those might be.

For people who are low income, every state has a Medicaid program that they could possible qualify for. The requirements vary form state to state, but all it takes is a trip to your local Division of Family Services office to get an application. You might be surprised at the number of people who would actually qualify for this service that don’t think that they would. You will need to fill out the application and provide some documentation about your finances. This program can cover the health insurance needs of the entire family, including dental work, eye care, doctor visits, emergency care, prescriptions and more. For people with children who don’t get insurance through their work, this is a very good option to check out. It is free and a fairly painless process, and if you qualify, it could make you like a lot easier.

Another option for cheap health insurance is to look on the Internet. There are a ton of companies that offer all types of health insurance plans, and it is very possible that you could find one that is perfect for your family and fits your pocketbook. The costs vary, so do plenty of research before choosing one or another. It is a smart idea to find out how long the company has been in business, and what kind of reputation they have. Ask for a quote from several sources, and see what kind of a deal they can get for you. Make sure they are also licensed in your state, because it does no good to get insurance if they can’t operate in your state.

Still other options include your local insurance agencies. Ask around to find out about the different agents and their policies. Many agents will work very hard to get you an affordable health insurance plan for your family at a cost you can live with. Even if you can’t get every type of coverage you want, some is better than none.

Follow up with advertisements for prescription card plans and alternative health care plans. While some of them won’t be suited to your needs, there may be one that is perfect for you. An affordable health care insurance plan can be found, but you might have to do some searching.

Bob Hett offers great tips and advice regarding all aspects concerning Health Insurance. Get the information you are seeking now by visiting
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Twelve Ways to Get More from Your Short Term Medical Insurance


Short term medical insurance is a popular and inexpensive way to avoid the high cost of unexpected healthcare costs. Millions have discovered that this alternative to traditional medical insurance is priced at a fraction of the cost of HMOs and other traditional health plans.

Today most short-term medical insurance (abbreviated as STM) is issued through the Internet. The application process takes only minutes and ID cards are mailed the next business day. Despite the "short term" name, short term medical insurance policies are issued for as long as three years at a time and you may reapply for another policy for longer periods of coverage. The following tips will help you get more for your money.

  1. Compare Prices for Savings - Most states now have two or more low cost STM plans, so it makes sense to spend a few extra minutes comparing prices. Most shoppers report that they consider the coverage among most STM plans to be similar, so price may be the most important distinction. Side-by-side listings of STM plans are available at in all states where STM plans are available.

  1. Pay in Advance for Extra Savings - Some providers offer a significant discount if you pay for multiple months in advance using the "single pay" option. The discount can be up to 15% of the total premium. Fortis Health ( is the leading provider of single payment discounts. Be aware that pre-payments are usually not refundable if you cancel the coverage early.

  1. Use the PPO Discount Card - While STM plans exclude coverage for dental expenses and the cost of pre-existing medical conditions, you can still benefit from significant savings by utilizing PPO discounts included with the medical insurance medical plan or purchased separately. Some STM plans include a PPO discount arrangement for medical and Rx expenses but if your STM plan does not include a PPO discount arrangement, then this feature is available separately at The price is less than $20 per month for the combination medical/dental/Rx/alternate care package. One plan covers everyone in the household and a 30 day free trial is available.

  1. Match Length of Coverage With Your Need - The least expensive plans expire after 6 months or less and are priced at about half the cost of traditional health insurance. Other STM plans extend to a maximum of 36 months coverage and are priced at a about 30% discount over traditional health insurance plans. The 6-month STM plans are most popular for recent college graduates or those changing jobs and waiting for employer-provided group coverage. The 36-month STM plans are the most popular low-cost approach to health insurance for self-employed individuals.

  1. Consider Health Factors - STM has the easiest qualification requirements of any commercial health insurance. If you have ongoing health issues and cannot find health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions, STM is the best bet. Eligibility for STM plans does vary between the various insurance carriers. High blood pressure medication, for example, will exclude you from most STM plans but you may still eligible for coverage under another plan called HPA Flex-term or HPA Freedom. (Check your specific state listing for availability).

  1. Use the Best Doctors - Short term medical coverage allows you to use any doctor or hospital anywhere in the country so it makes sense to use the best medical providers you can find. Your out-of-pocket cost is limited to your deductible and in some cases a co-insurance regardless of the amount of the medical bills. So unlike other health plans, it will not cost you any more to use the very best (and presumably most expensive) medical care providers under an STM plan.

  1. Consider State Rules - Short term medical insurance is meant to be portable and is valid coverage in all states. You can apply for the coverage while you live in any state except Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, or Vermont. If you are moving from state to state, you can get coverage in these restricted states if you enroll before you move. Once issued, coverage is equally valid throughout the U.S. and Canada regardless of where you may travel or move.

  1. Consider Your Travel Plans - Most general-purpose STM plans do not provide coverage outside of continental North America. But other worldwide coverage plans are specifically designed for this purpose. The most popular brand of international STM is International Medical Group (IMG). You can mix and match the starting dates of your domestic and international STM plans to precisely fit your travel schedule.

  1. Get Fast Service - One of the strongest features of short term medical insurance is that coverage is issued immediately, effective just after midnight following your enrollment. Most people apply online and the policy and ID cards are delivered by mail within a few days. You may be able to obtain a policy and ID card on the next day via overnight delivery. Check with the enrollment adviser for this option.

  1. Get Your ID Card Immediately - Your policy is usually mailed on the next business day, but the STM plan offered by HPA has the ability to print your policy and ID card immediately when you enroll online.

  1. Take Advantage of Freebies - Some enrollment services use free gifts to encourage use of online enrollment or for referring friends to their service. The gifts range from first aid kits to coffee mugs and medical encyclopedias. After you enroll for your STM plan, check back with the enrollment site to claim the freebie.

  1. Use the OnlineAdviserTM Service - The enrollment adviser at has helped issue thousands of STM policies in every state across the nation. Tap into this expertise. You are likely to learn more money-savings tips that apply to your specific situation by speaking directly with the enrollment adviser in person.

Most states now have two or more low cost STM plans, so it makes sense to spend a few extra minutes comparing prices. Most shoppers report that they consider the coverage among most STM plans to be similar, so price may be the most important distinction. Side-by-side listings of STM plans are available at in all states where STM plans are available.

Which plan is right for you?

Choose the plan that gives you the services you're most likely to need at the lowest out-of-pocket cost.


If you get coverage through your job, your employer picks your insurance and you may or may not have very many choices. If you buy your own, you're in charge, but your choices are limited by the plans available to individual purchasers, as well as by how much you can afford to spend.

Unfortunately, there's no such thing as standard coverage. Details vary enormously from one plan to another. The best value is not necessarily the plan with the cheapest premium or the one with the most benefits. It's the plan that covers the health services you want and need for the lowest out-of-pocket expense . In essence, differences among plans come down to three intertwined elements: benefits, costs, and restrictions.

Benefits: Every insurance plan will cover you for doctor and hospital bills, with various limits, discussed below under "costs." Virtually everything else, including prescription drugs, glasses, psychotherapy and preventive care, such as immunizations and screenings, may or may not be covered, depending on the specific plan.

To figure out how well a plan suits your needs, first make a list of the health services you and your family normally use. For each plan, note the amount of coverage for each of those services - for instance, "100 percent," "80 percent," "not covered." Once you've got a handle on how fully each plan covers your health needs, you can evaluate cost differences.

Costs: If you don't use many medical services, your primary cost for indemnity coverage will be the premium. If you do use a lot of services, it will be hard to gauge your actual costs, since you must factor in the deductible, co-payments, and any excess charges or uncovered services.

In contrast, cost is easy to gauge with a true HMO - a managed-care plan with no out-of-network option. Once you've paid your premium, nearly everything will be covered and you'll be liable only for small co-payments.

Estimating the cost of a managed-care plan with an out-of-network option is tricky, because your ultimate cost depends on whether you actually go out-of-network. If cost considerations make you lean toward a managed-care plan, read its literature thoroughly to decide whether you can live with the restrictions it imposes.

Restrictions: Generally speaking, a managed-care plan will limit your choice of providers and require you to get pre-approval for services. If your beloved pediatrician shuns HMOs or you have a difficult health problem, you may decide that you can't abide limits like these.

Keep in mind, however, that indemnity insurance also comes with limitations in the form of deductibles, co-payments and uncovered services. These financial roadblocks can inhibit freedom of choice as much as any managed-care bureaucracy.

Another worry about restrictions is that many consumers equate freedom of choice with medical quality. They're not entirely wrong. If you receive poor treatment in a managed-care plan, it's hard to vote with your feet.

However, they're not completely right, either. The quality of medical care varies considerably both in and out of managed care. In fact, the best managed-care plans offer quality advantages you won't get outside managed care, such as outreach for preventive services, heath-risk screening, and coordination of care.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Federal Law Blue Cross Insurance

Do you feel as though you have a firm apprehension of the fundamentals of the affair of blue cross insurance law? On condition that you do, in that case you are ready to take a look at the body of writing that appears before you.

Things to Look for in Good medical coverage

online healthcare insurance is a kind of coverage that gives payment of benefits for covered medical problems or accidents. Included in online health care insurance are various types of insurance like accident insurance, disability earnings insurance, medical expense coverage, and accidental death insurance. Before signing the medical insurance document make sure you completely understand the reimbursement section. Notice which health care service that isn`t covered by your health insurance document.

In addition, especially notice how the medical insurance plan is worded. From time to time, medical insurance carriers conceal the benefit exclusions within the rhetoric. For example, a healthcare insure company might define the term `emergency` as anything that is a potentially fatal circumstance that cannot be reasonably treated by a primary care physician, while your definition of `emergency` might be anything that needs fast clinical care. Obviously, there is inconsistency between the two definitions.

If you discover that you are in an emergency state of affairs where you sustain a fractured limb, for example, your healthcare group may deny coverage for emergency room treatment of a cracked arm because the broken arm doesn`t fall under the terminal category. Therefore, you ought to study completely the online medical insurance policy definitions, paying careful notice to the seven key terms:

1. Medical emergency

2. Medically required

3. Accidental trauma

4. Unproven or trial

5. Pre- qualification

6. Previously diagnosed health issues

7. Practical and traditional

These words and all terms that are subject to analysis should be examined with care. Establish how your healthcare provider defines each of these.

Finally, go to the paragraphs explaining the rules you have to abide by for your healthcare coverage association to repay you. These policy conditions or prerequisites are normally worded in a friendly manner. Peruse through each condition carefully, make comments, then contact your medicare insurance company regarding all your questions.

You also ought to assess medicaid insurance documents before putting your signature on one of them. In order to evaluate exclusions, examine two policy contracts and look for the exclusions sections. If you need to compare a number of medical health insurance online contracts, then you would be able to benefit from an on-line site. After you get your no-charge estimate for the wellness insurance you want, apply for it on-line, then you`ll obtain all the information you require to judge exclusions of each healthinsurance plan (though sometimes this might mandate additional investigation.)

Finally, after browsing through this page dealing with the field of blue cross insurance law, you may well go at it and commence implementing the things you have finally now been taught.

Blue Cross Insurance Quote Service

Supposing you`re trying to get details about the subject of blue cross insurance service, keep reading!

Scheduled medical health insurance Plans

There exist more than a few kinds of healthcare insure policies as we`ve talked about as well as the least favorite since if not understood extremely thoroughly this sort of policy might be very misleading to the healthcare customer. Occasionally attracting as a result of the lesser cost, a scheduled online medical health insurance plan retains a diversity of limits and also things left out similarly.

Virtually each process normally retains a `Cap` or otherwise a maximum quantity the medical insurance group would pay shall this price get assessed. One that hits us right off the bat is a hospital room. So, it will appear that you will desire some policy that took care of the space. The norm will be reasonable and customary fees and so that`s fair; although we have seen scheduled online disability insurance policies that would just disburse one hundred and fifty dollars daily if a policy holder was hospitalized, and three hundred dollars per day for ICU. Now, among each association this could vary, of course. Moreover, some organizations may allow you to `buy up` with your health care insurance coverage so they`ll pay out an additional amount.

The thing that occurs is if the hospital lodging is 700 dollars daily and then your healthcare insurance online corporation just pays $150 of it. Know what? You are paying out 550 dollars for that single time.

Fact is, the majority of the persons that we have met had zero idea that this exists as how the policy that they had gotten insured. They imagined their major part should have been insured, when in reality it isn`t the case at all. Would you accept any medical health insurance online plan in which you were disbursing the major part of the hospital lodging? We wouldn`t. We are providing an independent source on behalf of health care insure quotes if you require them to investigate each plan available.

When we state that everything exhibits their boundary...we mean typically all things. We have discovered some scheduled online medical coverage plans which would cover a maximum of 15 to 20,000 dollars for transplants. Gee, considering that most transplants start out at 200,000 dollars; that doesn`t seem a good deal. Once more, we have witnessed a few policies that limit the sum of medical center costs each stay to $50,000. What happens if your bill becomes $100,000? This will be next to nothing now. That`s right, you are right; you`re obligated for this share of the bill.

It`s unlucky that as customers, we have to work for these levels to protect our own selves, though it`s often a high-quality concept so to do. Like we`ve stated previously, you would be extremely surprised to find out simply how many people have no concept what things the medical coverage policy which they`re a part of covers. online medical health insurance, typically, might absolutely be rather annoying and confusing, and it does take some research in order to obtain the big picture. Yet, it`s absolutely of value. Plus you never know... the sort of plan listed prior could in fact be the medical insurance online policy you find fits you and your family best, however we wish for you to know and become aware of what`s out there.

Top Ten Blue Cross Insurance Companies

The article here before you introduces the fundamentals of the topic of top blue cross insurance companies. By means of the details given in this essay this site`s readers have the option to become more aware of how the essence of top blue cross insurance companies was developed to its state of affairs at the moment.

Personal healthinsurance

Several alternatives that you should think about:

Ask your health insurance on line corporation if you are able to change its group policy to an individual plan. You will pay a higher rate than you did beforehand and your benefits might be limited, however the conditions will most likely be better than if you buy your own insurance policy. If you are married, check whether your spouses` employer agrees to add you to its group plan.

Attempt to join a group online health insurance plan through a trade association or otherwise an graduates organization or any professional group. Their plans might charge reasonable premiums. Even a number of credit card corporations provide health care coverage online policies.

If all else fails, you can purchase a personal online health coverage plan. The premiums are going to be expensive and the coverage incomplete, however it is imperative that you be secured from financial disaster in case you or otherwise your family are hit by a major medical condition or injury. If you`re self-employed, most of the online healthcare insurance premium will be tax-deductible.

If you switch employers, you are given the right to carry your group medicare insurance coverage with you to your new place of employment for a period of 18 months at most under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. You must pay the full premium, but on group rates that are a lot lower than the individual premiums you would pay for similar coverage.

In case you`re without a job, self-employed, or have made the decision to go back to school you may want to get a personal health care coverage online plan.

A guide to Travel Health Insurance

By Jimmy Wild

None of us want to think about all the things that can go wrong when we're on that much needed vacation, but the truth is, many things can. You could become ill while away, or you could even get sick right before the long awaited day has arrived and not even board that pre-paid cruise ship at all. Travel health insurance is set up to protect you from all the above-mentioned occurrences and many more but before you purchase this type of health insurance, you need to know what it is and just what coverage to look for.

What Is Travel Health Insurance And When Do I Need It?

We consider that we have only touched the perimeter of information available on health insurance. There is still a lot more to be learnt!

Travel health insurance is an insurance policy that you can purchase prior to your departure that covers you for a variety of occurrences, whether medical or not, while you are away. This insurance can be pricy so you should take some things into consideration before you buy it. If you are going on a short trip that only requires one round-trip airline ticket of $250 then travel health insurance may be overkill. If you have booked a $5,000 once-in-a-lifetime cruise well in advance, then travel health insurance begins to makes more sense. You need to decide if the cost of the policy is worth it.

What Should It Cover?

Reading all this about health insurance is sure to help you get a better understanding of health insurance. So make full use of the information we have provided here.

People have an inclination of bragging on the knowledge they have on any particular project. However, we don’t want to brag on what we know on health insurance, so long as it proves useful to you, we are happy.

A good travel health insurance policy should offer you coverage for a number of things. First, you should be covered the entire time you are on your trip and at any destination. It should cover personal injury or death to you or anyone else named on the policy. It should cover the costs of all medical-related expenses you incur while on your trip. Travel health insurance policies can also cover you in the event you need to be evacuated due to a medical emergency.

Should you be visiting a third world country where medical experience and supplies are limited, make sure your policy covers any type of transportation to a more adequate country to receive proper medical care. If you travel often, you can purchase a multi-trip travel health insurance policy.

Where Do I Get It?

First, check into the coverage you are entitled to under your regular health insurance plan so you don't end up paying more for coverage you already have. Once you know what you need, you can buy travel health insurance from your cruise line, travel agent, or an independent insurance agent. Although the independent insurance agents can be the most expensive, you don't have to worry about your cruise line going bankrupt and not honoring your travel insurance.

Do You Need Travel Health Insurance?

by: M. Jedediah

Are you a travel freak? Do you travel frequently overseas? Do you plan trips and holidays with your family year after year? In case, your answer is in a 'yes' in most cases mentioned above, you should consider a travel health insurance policy.

A travel health insurance policy is a type of cover that provides the insurance holder, health insurance coverage during traveling, especially in a foreign country. Here, the insured is required to pay an amount known as the premium stipulated by the travel insurance company to avail benefits.

Usually, the coverage provides compensation for medical costs incurred by the insured during travel. In some special cases, the insurance policy also covers for medical evacuation.

A travel health insurance policy comes in combination with the following expenses coverage.

a) Trip cancellation insurance.

b) Trip interruption insurance.

c) Travel accident insurance.

d) Travel baggage loss insurance.

e) Travel emergency evacuation insurance.

f) Travel medical expenses insurance.

Usually the premium for travel health insurance amounts to $200 on an annual basis. However, the premium you pay towards your travel health insurance policy also depends a lot on your age, the distance of trip, any preexisting health conditions, cost of trip and the nation to which trip is being made. Some special travel insurance plans also cover accidental deaths and flight accidental death.

The travel health insurance plans that cover the medical costs of your trip will include cost of treatment, medical expenses, cost of medicines and dental expenses. These covers are available with many conditions. For instance, if you take medicines from unconventional medical sources such as Ayurvedic treatment or acupuncturists, the health travel insurance company will not reimburse the money to you.

In case, you are already covered by a health insurance policy, it would be wise to check whether it covers outside the United States or whether it offers benefits only in case of emergencies.

Also check out whether your travel health insurance company provides you the benefit of medical evacuation cover. It is very important especially if you are planning to travel outside the country. Usually, a travel health insurance policy provides medical evacuation facility to nearest qualified medical health facility. Here, you would not be evaluated to the United States. You would be transferred to the nearest medical health facility. Hence, if you are traveling in an under developed country, you may have to settle for medical treatment at a health facility decided by the travel health insurance company and not by you.

Another cover provided by travel health insurance policy is the repatriation of mortal remains. In the event of death of the insurance holder, the travel health insurance company will bear the cost of returning the mortal remains of the insured. You should also carefully study some other conditions prior to deciding on for a particular travel health insurance policy. These conditions include the following:

a) Co-insurance.

b) Deductibles.

c) Exclusions.

d) Benefit period.

e) Pre-existing conditions.

Don't ignore travel health insurance. It will play a vital role in providing you peace of mind while traveling to a foreign country. You don't need to worry about medical expenses, hospital treatment and sudden illness expenditure while traveling.

You can save a lot of money on your medical expenses when traveling via a travel insurance policy. It is like hiring a qualified caretaker to see your safety while you travel.

Health Insurance for Pets

America has gone to the dogs-and cats. More than 63 million U.S. households have pets, and maintaining a pet's health is among the greatest challenges to ownership. Pet owners spend upwards of $12 billion per year on veterinary care.

One company, whose name has become synonymous with quality and trust, hopes to ease the financial burden of unexpected pet healthcare costs. The organization recently announced the launch of a new product, PetCare Pet Insurance Programs, owned by Pethealth Inc., a strategic partner. PetCare Pet Insurance Programs are currently available in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

"Today, our customers look to us in many areas beyond publishing, and we are pleased to introduce PetCare Pet Insurance Programs," says Milton P. Pappas, Reader's Digest Director of U.S. Financial Services. "More than 23 million of our U.S. customers are pet owners."

Mark Warren, President and CEO of Pethealth, Inc., says. " PetCare Pet Insurance Programs not only ensure that your dog or cat gets the best possible medical treatment, but also help to protect owners against large, unanticipated veterinary bills."

"Our programs offer freedom of choice, extensive coverage and nominal paperwork. As a policyholder, you can choose your own licensed veterinarian, assuring you'll get the best treatment for your dog or cat. You can enjoy the emotional benefits of pet ownership without worrying about the financial burden of health care."

Warren continues, "All four types of PetCare Pet Insurance policies pay 100 percent of payable claims, minus a fixed deductible based on policy choice (up to the policy limit). Single-page claim forms and reimbursement within five business days further streamline our indemnity insurance product. Veterinarians can have the satisfaction of helping to ensure that the pets they care for can live long, happy, healthy lives."

Warren said the four PetCare Pet Insurance Program options offer pet owners maximum protection against unanticipated medical costs. Accident coverage for all programs can begin as early as eight weeks of age. The programs include:

  • QuickCare for Dogs and Cats, which provides accident-only coverage, ideal for puppies and kittens-although there is no upper age limit for enrollment;

  • QuickCare for Indoor Cats, which has been specially designed to cover the expense of those accidents and illnesses most commonly suffered by indoor cats. There is no upper age limit for enrollment;

  • QuickCare Gold for Cats and Dogs, which provides "head-to-tail" coverage for virtually any situation including over 6,000 types of accidents and illnesses.

  • Enrollment is possible up to age 10 for cats and age 8 for dogs (age 6 for "select" breeds). Once enrolled, coverage may continue for the rest of the pet's life; and

  • QuickCare Senior for Cats and Dogs, which is especially tailored for previously uninsured senior pets. There is no upper age limit for enrollment.

Warren points out the importance of having pet insurance: Pet insurance is a relatively new idea in the United States, where less than one percent of the estimated 68 million dogs and 73 million cats have health insurance. In Sweden, however, 48 percent of owners have taken out health insurance plans for their pets. In Great Britain, nearly 20 percent of pets are covered.

Advancements in medicine have given veterinarians the ability to vastly improve quality of life or even save a pet's life. Yet such advances come with increased costs. Dogs and cats get cancer and other illnesses that often can be treated just like the human varieties-but chemotherapy treatment for a pet can cost thousands of dollars. Common accidents, such as the ingestion of a foreign object, can require surgery that can cost more than $1,000.

One recent survey reported that 84 percent of pet owners in the U.S. consider their pets to be their "children"-and nearly 75 percent say they'd be willing to go into debt for their pets' well-being. A product such as PetCare Pet Insurance Programs gives both a pet owner and a veterinarian peace of mind.

Information about PetCare Pet Insurance can be found at and through a toll-free telephone number, 1-866-4-RDPETS (1-866-473-7387).

Affordable health insurance options for those who cannot afford insurance

More and more Americans are going without health insurance because they can't afford it. But there is a solution. New health insurance portfolios are available that are specially designed to help meet the national need for affordable coverage for individuals and employees of small businesses.

This is good news for many Americans who often cannot afford to purchase health insurance for themselves or whose employers do not offer insurance. This includes individuals who are self-employed; those who are employed by a small business or who run a small business; and individuals in other circumstances that require them to buy their own health insurance.

"More than 45 million Americans fall into one of these categories. Many of these people are uninsured or are struggling to afford the traditional plans that insurance companies typically offer," says Melissa Crawford, senior vice president, Physicians Mutual.

The company bundles together existing and new products to provide an Integrated Health Portfolio (IHP) with a variety of choices and price points.

The IHP offers a choice of benefits, including coverage for:

  • Doctor's office visits

  • Preventive care

  • Hospital stays

  • Surgeries

  • Catastrophic major medical

  • Outpatient treatment.

"This portfolio of products is designed for middle-income Americans for whom the only choice has been major medical plans with high deductibles-$5,000, for example. That's too much for them to absorb out of pocket," Crawford says. "They're looking for a plan that pays a portion of everyday health care costs such as doctor's visits, childhood immunizations, and screenings like mammograms and prostate cancer tests. They also need prescription drug and vision discounts.

"We have options with no deductible to meet, so policyowners receive benefits the first time they have a covered medical expense," Crawford says. "There are also no lifetime maximums on this type of policy."

Crawford points out that individuals and small-business owners usually do not have benefits managers who can talk them through their insurance options. The health portfolio offers a needs assessment to help customers determine which insurance products are right for them.

Physicians Mutual Insurance Company and Physicians Life Insurance Company, a member of the Physicians Mutual family, provide a full portfolio of health and life insurance products, as well as financial products. Both companies consistently receive high grades from independent insurance analysts.

For additional information, visit

Health insurance coverage for your adult children

Instead of a computer or a car, parents looking for a useful gift for a new college grad may want to consider health insurance.

New college graduates and their parents are often surprised to learn that many health insurance plans stop providing coverage to adult children through a parent's plan even when they are living at home.

Typically, most adult children who are students will lose their coverage when they attain a certain age, graduate or are no longer attending school on a full-time basis. Since most of these new college graduates won't have coverage until after they have found a job, many find themselves falling through a gap in coverage.

The number of young adults who fall into this category can be significant. According to a 2002 Census Bureau report, 18-to-24-year-olds are the least likely age group to have health insurance coverage.

Some find an effective way to address this need is with a type of product called temporary or short-term medical insurance. Such policies are designed to fill short gaps in health insurance coverage and usually cover periods ranging from one to six months. Exact length of coverage may vary by state and company.

For example, Assurant Health -a company that helped to pioneer the concept of short-term coverage-offers policies that typically cover periods of 30 to 185 days. Generally, this type of plan is more affordable than permanent insurance plans because the insurer is taking less risk.

Because temporary policies are usually designed to cover the unexpected, most do not include coverage for preventive care, physicals, immunizations, dental or eye care. Also, temporary policies generally do not cover pre-existing conditions.

While typical customers for short-term medical insurance are graduating students no longer covered by a family plan, but not yet covered by an employer's group plan, the policy may also be of interest to others. People changing jobs or making a transition to a new career, or new employees facing a short waiting period before becoming eligible for an employer's group insurance plan, may find that it fills a need.

To learn more, visit www. or contact your independent agent.

Most adult children will lose their insurance coverage at the end of the month they graduate from college.