Health Insurance Consumer Guide

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Health insurance is a very important benefit and is something that needs to be looked at carefully. Get a health insurance consumer guide with help from an experienced insurance professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Health Insurance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Tim Tracy, co-founder of, and this is your health insurance consumer guide. Health insurance is a very important benefit and something that needs to be looked at carefully. What you need to do is examine all the options available to you. So, the first and most important step is to find a local agent or broker that can assist you through the process. There's a number of moving parts, and it's important to work with somebody that knows exactly what they're doing and has experience working with individuals similar to your situation in your state. What you'll want to do is ask yourself a few questions. What do you need coverage-wise? Who are you covering? What can I afford? When you ask yourself these questions, it's going to help you determine what type of health insurance plan you're looking for. There's multiple options out there and available to you that range from PPOs, or Preferred Provider Organizations, to HMOs, known as Health Maintenance Organizations, and now we're even seeing consumer driven health plans, also referred to as HSAs, or Health Savings Accounts, a number of times. Once you find your budget, you'll want to review the different benefits that are available and different plan options within that budget, 'cause not all plans are created equal. For instance, if you don't mind taking on risks and having a higher deductible to lower your monthly premium, you may want to look at a health savings account, as this is going to provide you with a lower monthly premium and a higher deductible. But, you'll be able to pay for that deductible with pretax dollars that you set aside into a health savings account with the bank of your choice. If you prefer to have co-payments when you visit your doctor, so you only pay, let's say, $25 or $35 every time you go in and see your doctor, then maybe you want to look at something that costs a little more from a monthly premium standpoint, but provides you with that co-payment option. Then you're going to want to look at something more along the lines of a PPO, or an HMO option. If you want to utilize any doctor of your choice or facility of your choice, that's another important thing to look at. You want to examine the networks. So, you're going to want to see which doctors participate and which facilities participate with what network. If you want to be able to have the ability to utilize any doctor of your choice, then you're going to want to stay away from those HMO and in-network only plans, and look back at a PPO option that provides out-of-network coverage, or a POS option that would also provide out-of-network coverage. The other important thing is to know the lingo. Understand what a co-payment is. Understand what a deductible is. And most importantly, understand what your out-of-pocket maximum is. This is the bottom line dollar that you would be responsible for if something catastrophic happened. It's important to know that terminology and what that number is, because, god forbid, anything would happen seriously, you're going to be responsible for paying that out-of-pocket maximum. Once you hit that level, then the insurance company is going to cover you at a hundred percent. My name's Tim Tracy, co-founder of, and this is your consumer guide to health insurance.


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