California Health Insurance Shopping

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How to Shop for Health Insurance in California, or Anywhere Else

Debate still rages in the State of California and elsewhere on how to fix the problem of those without health insurance. In California and other States one of the ways that has been suggested is to have some kind of mandated health insurance coverage, much like everybody is required to have car insurance. The effectiveness of such mandates is being hotly debated in California and other states. One of the main advantages of requiring individuals to purchase and carry health insurance would mean that health insurance companies would be required to sell them health insurance - regardless of their health or so-called pre-existing conditions.

But until such laws are passed, in the State of California and many other places across the nation, people are being denied coverage, even when willing to pay for health insurance – for some very common medical conditions such as high blood pressure. Still no matter where you live if you need to obtain health insurance coverage there are ways to get it and keep it.

First the most obvious, if you are looking for a job, consider one that does offer health benefits. Job based coverage tends to be the most affordable health insurance around, because typically the employer pays all or the bigger share of the cost of the monthly premium. Yet in a period from 2001 to 2005 the number of jobs in the State of California that offered affordable health benefits as a perk dropped by almost 680,000. And that number reflects a nationwide trend.  The other advantage of job based health insurance is that it not only gives you medical coverage – job based insurance helps you to stay insured. Thanks to laws like HIPPA and COBRA – once a company has insured you - under certain circumstances you can maintain that coverage. Without a gap in coverage when it comes time to purchase individual health insurance you cannot be turned down for pre-existing conditions. 

Another tip health insurance experts advise when shopping for health insurance on your own is to be honest. While disclosing all of your medical history and prescription drugs you are taking may result in your rejection by some health insurers, be honest. If you are given a policy and later it is revoked due to what amounts to fraud by your failure to disclose a medical condition you may face severe consequences. Not only will your health insurance obviously be cancelled, but also you may be liable for all of the health expenses the company paid out in what it now perceives as a fraudulent claim. And to make matters worse if your health insurance policy was revoked or cancelled for these reasons, you might now be uninsurable, and unable to obtain any kind of health insurance at any price.