You want to purchase health insurance that works for you and not against you. To avoid an insurance scam, it is important that you buy from an approved insurance company that is financially stable and that the policy you select meets your standards. More Below Video…
Buy From Approved Health Insurance Companies Only
To find which companies are approved to sell health insurance in your state, you can visit your insurance department’s website or call them. I’ve put together this list of insurance departments. It is alphabetized by state. It includes phone numbers and links.
If you want to buy health insurance in Connecticut, make sure that rule out companies that are not approved by our Connecticut Insurance Department. Here is their list of approved health insurance companies.
In some cases an insurance company will sell under more than one name. This can make checking them out a little tricky.
In Connecticut, Time is listed as an approved company. However, most of their literature will reference Assurant Health, Fortis or John Alden. Golden Rule is also listed. They are a United Health One company. Their older literature will reference United Health Care.
Making sure that you purchase only from health insurance companies that are approved by your insurance department goes a long way towards making sure that you avoid an insurance scam. You can expect that your insurance department has checked them out and believes that they are financially stable and that the policies they sell meet certain standards.
However, this should only be a first step. You should do a little checking on your own.
Which Health Insurance Companies are, and will be, Financially Stable?
After you have narrowed your list to companies that are approved by your insurance department you may want to do some checking on your own. You can check their AM Best Rating and see how financially stable they are.
An A.M. Best report addresses the company’s current financial stability. It also gives you their projection of the company’s future financial stability.
(We are adding life insurance to our agency soon. I used AM Best to help me determine which companies’ products we should offer to our clients.)
Is the Policy Any Good?
Just like with an IOU, the ability to pay is only part of the battle. If the contract doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t a fair exchange for your money, you shouldn’t take the policy or the IOU.
You should be able to get information on the following from your insurance department:
- Number of complaints
- Percentage of received premium paid out in claims
Even the best companies will have some complaints. The ratio between complaints and in force policies is what’s important.
The better companies will pay doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers eighty percent or more of the premium dollars they take in.
If you purchase from a company that is approved by your insurance department, you will eliminate most of the horrible policies. However I’ve found that a few of the companies that are approved by the Connecticut insurance department sell some policies are below the standards I have for my agency.
One company has a series of policies that have calendar year maximums that are equal to the average cost of a hospital stay. This company sells many other policies I like and often recommend. Two of the companies sell policies that severely limit your benefits in the doctor’s office, but offers other health insurance policies that are excellent.
Some things to avoid include:
- short-term health insurance policies (usually)
- health insurance policies with low lifetime limits
- health insurance policies with calendar year limits
- policies that limit doctor visits
An insurance policy is basically an IOU or more precisely an “IOU if.” In another words they owe you if certain things happen.
Judge an insurance policy the same way you judge an IOU. An IOU is only as good as the person behind it. Are there too many complaints or a history of not paying claims?
You want to buy your health insurance from a company that has a history of paying claims just like you only want an IOU from someone who has a history of repaying their debts. You want to make sure that your company has the financial resources to pay future debts. You may not want to take an IOU from someone has a good history of paying their debts, if he lost his job yesterday. You want a good terms on the IOU, just like you don’t want an IOU for $50 when you loan someone $100.
If you are shopping for health insurance in Connecticut, please give us a call. We’d love to help. You can reach us at 203-374-3645 or 800-467-8726.