See how shopping online for health insurance can make your life easier.
Where do individuals go to get private health insurance? There are state and federal exchanges that provide access to plans, and there are also private online marketplaces for health insurance, like eHealth. Working online with a private online marketplace allows you to have quick access to licensed brokers, free quotes, and even assistance after you’ve purchased your individual health insurance plan. If you choose to buy health insurance online, it’s a good idea to do your research and use all the resources you can. Keep reading to get a few tips to know before you shop for health insurance online.
Find the right purchasing environment
Your quest to figure out how to get health insurance online starts with finding a purchasing platform to buy individual health insurance. There are government-run marketplaces, but also private marketplaces like eHealth that offer private health insurance plans. Everyone has reasons for why they shop where they shop, but checking out all your different options is never a bad idea. Watch the video below to get a good idea of how eHealth can make your shopping experience easier.
Understand that on a private marketplace like eHealth, there are certain benefits that you may not see elsewhere. Some of these include:
- Free quotes and plan comparison with plans from several different insurance companies, sometimes including ones that don’t sell on the government-run exchanges
- Availability of licensed agents who will guide you through the shopping and enrollment processes
- Wide variety of options—smaller brokers may not have the same amount of knowledge that our agents have. eHealth agents specialize in the type of insurance they sell (if you are calling for individual health insurance, you will talk to an agent who specializes in individual health insurance plans), they are knowledgeable about health insurance plans in all 50 states, and they are able to offer you information about a huge variety of plans from different health insurance companies
- Access to 24/7 chat function which can address your questions and concerns, no matter what time you have them
- Lasting relationships—even after you’ve purchased your plan, you can use eHealth to serve as an advocate between you and the health insurance company if need be. You can also come back to eHealth during future open enrollment periods, and have an agent help you update your plan if you want
Finding the right place to buy individual health insurance comes down to your specific needs. Make sure to visit eHealth.com to see if it’s the right place for you to buy your individual health insurance plan.
How do you get health insurance online?
It can be tricky to pick the right individual health insurance plan and go through the application process. Whether you’ve decided to buy health insurance online or not, it’s important to know what type of plan you’re looking for. If you’re not sure whether an individual health insurance plan is right for you, it might be a good idea to get a better understanding of who usually buys individual health insurance plans, and why.
After you’ve decided that individual health insurance is right for you, then you can visit an online marketplace or broker, and enter your information. On eHealth, you will:
- get free, instant quotes on plans from a variety of insurance companies
- be taken step-by-step through the enrollment process
- have access to licensed agents in case you run into any questions
After you’ve completed enrollment, major medical coverage usually starts within 2-6 weeks, but if you’re shopping for alternative products like short-term health insurance or critical illness insurance, the waiting period may be shorter.
Make buying an individual health plan easier: know your terms
If you’ve decided that an individual health insurance plan is right for you, and that you want to buy health insurance online, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with common health insurance terms:
|Health insurance term||Definition|
|Premium||Your fixed monthly payment to the insurance company.|
|Copayment||A flat fee you pay for a service such as 10 dollars to go to the doctor. When you get health insurance with copays, the insurance company pays the rest of the bill.
|Deductible||The amount you must pay before the insurance company covers certain services fully. The monthly premiums do not factor into the deductible amount.|
|Maximum out-of-pocket||The most you will pay on your own before the insurance company pays all your medical expenses (only applies to services covered by your plan from the beginning).|
|Coinsurance||A fee, usually presented as a percentage, that you must pay. A 35% coinsurance fee listed when you get health insurance means you pay 35% of the overall bill and the company pays 65%.|
The exact definitions and use of terms for each insurance plan may vary, so be sure to carefully review the terms of any plan you choose to buy.
Know what you want out of your individual health insurance plan
If you know that you want to buy health insurance online, and you know that an individual health insurance plan is right for you, then you’re off to a good start. You may just want to think about a few details that are important to you in a health insurance plan. Some good questions to ask yourself are:
- Who will the plan cover? Maybe you actually need a family health insurance plan, if you have dependents who need health coverage.
- How much can you afford to spend?
- How often do you see the doctor? This might affect what type of plan you choose. Read more about the differences between some major types of plan here.
Buying an individual health insurance plan online shouldn’t be a bad experience. Know the type of plan you want, pick whatever exchange works best for you (whether it’s a government exchange, or a private marketplace like eHealth), and use the resources available to you.