Medical Insurance - Ask the Right Questions

By James Lahey

There are two different types of medical insurance plans, managed and traditional. Here are some questions that you need to ask before you choose a medical insurance plan for yourself and your family.

Do you have a current doctor that you want to continue seeing and do you want the freedom of choosing another doctor if additional care is needed? If this is the case, you need to avoid HMO plans. A PPO or POS plan is okay, but a traditional health care plan would be best as they allow for maximum flexibility when it comes to choosing your own doctors.

Do you have any upcoming medical events, like surgery? If you are switching health care plans make sure that pre-existing conditions are covered. And make sure to find out if there is a waiting period before your coverage begins.

Are your children entering college? Once again HMO plans are not your best option. Checkout a PPO or POS plan to see if any hospitals or physicians near the college are acceptable in the insurance network.

Do you want to have periodic checkups? A HMO plan may be your best bet because wellness checkups are encouraged without any additional costs. Traditional plans don't usually cover regular checkups, so the expense would have to come out of your own pocket.

Do you hate filling out claims and receipts? A managed care plan is your best option for the least amount of paperwork that you have to complete. Traditional plans usually require you to pay up front and then send in paperwork for reimbursement later.