Individual Health Insurance Risks to Avoid: eHealthInsurance Offers Advice
As More Consumers Investigate Their Health Insurance Options, What Do They Need to Know?
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/19/09 -- eHealthInsurance, the leading onlinesource of health insurancefor individuals, families and small businesses, today released advice forconsumers interested in purchasing individual health insurance policies.
eHealthInsurance (http://www.eHealthInsurance.com) provides decision-makingand comparison support tools to help consumers make informed decisions whenshopping for health insurance policies at eHealthInsurance.com, includingthe "Your Plan Advisor," decision support tool and the Physician's Findertool. However, many individual health insurance purchases occur off-line,which means consumers need to be aware of risks and potential pitfallsbefore applying for a plan.
Anyone considering buying an individual health insurance policy -- onlineor off-line -- should be aware of, and consider the following risks andpitfalls.
1. Make sure you can qualify: If you live in Massachusetts, New York, NewJersey, Maine, or Vermont then you live in a "Guaranteed Issue" state,which means that you can't be denied medical coverage for pre-existinghealth conditions. If you don't live in a state that is guaranteed issuethen you need to be aware of how any pre-existing health conditions youhave could affect your ability to qualify for coverage.
2. Maternity coverage isn't automatic: It is particularly important forwomen to know that individual health insurance plans don't automaticallycover maternity benefits. That can be great news if you're looking to savemoney, and you don't want to (or plan on) having kids while you're on thistype of plan. But, if you are planning to get pregnant, or you thinkthere's a chance you could get pregnant, be sure to buy a plan that coversmaternity care. If you can't find a plan with maternity coverage, you mayneed to look for a plan that offers maternity as a rider. A rider providesadditional coverage for something specifically not covered with a primarypolicy. The rider is added to the primary policy and the policyholder paysan extra amount of premium for the rider.
3. Limited benefit plans: the buyer should be wary of limited benefitplans that have a very limited amount of coverage for hospital stays, ERvisits or other costs. Additionally, be cautious of so-called "low cost"options that promise that anyone will qualify. Either of these may leaveyou with big bills to pay in the case of a major hospital stay or medicalemergency.
4. Read the fine print: do your homework and be clear on what you needand make sure the plan will cover it. Don't assume that everything iscovered. Research plans online and talk to a licensed agent to educateyourself. Doing a little bit of homework now will save you a lot of moneylater.
5. Avoid gaps in coverage: always stay covered. If you have a gap incoverage, you may not be able to qualify for coverage when re-applying forhealth insurance.
More questions? If consumers have questions about these tips or otherhealth insurance questions, they can talk to an eHealthInsurance licensedagent, free of charge, at 1-800-977-8860.
About eHealth, Inc.:
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, thenation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals,families and small businesses. Through the company's website,http://www.ehealthinsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leadinghealth insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for andpurchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of healthplans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's health insurancecompanies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50states and the District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth areregistered trademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.
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Senior Media Consultant
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