Medical insurance in Florida is a hassle because it is so difficult to get unbiased and comparable information quickly and easily. This guide will tell you what Florida medical insurance information you need and where you can find it.
In order to find low cost medical insurance in Florida you will need to:
- Gather and review information on the various medical insurance companies and plans in your area.
- Clearly define what your health insurance needs.
- Understand Managed Care - Health Maintenance Organizations - HMO’s vs. Preferred Provider Organizations - PPO’s.
- Choose the health plan and premium that best suits your needs.
- Choosing a good, independent insurance agent.
A good independent insurance agent can make each of these tasks much easier. Plus, they will be available to answer any questions you might have. Independent agents are free to offer any plans or companies they choose, all they have to do is get appointed by the carrier. A good agent will have a thorough knowledge of all the competing medical plans in Florida available in your market and will help you find the best medical insurance plan in Florida for you and/or your family. Most importantly, a good insurance agent will work for you not the health insurance companies. The best thing is they still don’t cost you any more than going direct to the health insurance companies.
The first thing you need to find out is which medical insurance plans are available in your area. If you live in a metropolitan area then you will probably have both PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organization) and HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organization) available. If you live in a lower density area, you will probably only have PPO’s available and you will find that their networks vary.
A good place to start is your state’s Department of Insurance or regulatory department. This is your best source for un-biased insurance information. It will provide with the relevant need-to-know information you will use to find the best medical insurance policy for you and/or your family. Download and read the various insurance consumer guides. You will also find a list of the health insurance companies offering medical insurance plans in your state. This list can be bit tricky to find, but it’s there.
Each Florida medical insurance company on that list will have a website. You can visit those websites to find the company and health plan specific information you will need to compare the various medical insurance plans in Florida. A good insurance agent will have this information readily available on the web or at your request.
People often ask which is the best medical insurance company? Well, that depends on several factors.
- The insurance companies financial rating with A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s.
- Size and quality of the insurer’s medical provider network. Are your preferred doctor’s in it?
- Benefit details.
- What is covered?
- What is not covered?
- How much does it cost you?
- What is your overall risk?
- The health insurance premium.
- I tend to prefer the larger insurance companies, partcularly those that are domiciled in Florida and regulated by Florida laws.
- Also, keep in mind that underwriting is going to vary from company to company. Some are easier to get into than others. In the end, it is going to depend on your medical record.
There are many good medical insurance companies offering good health plans, you should expect the rates to vary depending on:
- How old you are.
- Where you live (usually by county or zip code).
- Your health.
This should give you a nice sized stack of information to read through. Don’t focus too much on specifics yet. What you want to do is get an understanding of the terminology and who the main players are. The next step is to define your needs and wants (Part II).