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Benefit Selection Process

1. All health insurance companies are not the same! Before you purchase a plan from an insurance company, you should know how the company is rated. The A.M. Best Company is the oldest and most experienced rating agency in the world and has been rating the financial condition of insurance companies since 1899. Part of your benefit selection process should be to determine the experience of the provider your are selecting.

2. All insurance companies do not pay claims the same way. There are two ways: The insurance company decides how much to pay, or an independent third party in the industry decides.

3. Some companies do not let you choose your providers. Make sure you are participating in a plan that gives you the flexibility to go where YOU CHOOSE!

4. Not all insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. Make sure the policy you purchase will work for you.

5. Some insurance companies will not cover you or your family while you travel. I know that when I travel with my family, we don't plan on seeing a doctor unless it is an emergency. Participating in a nation-wide network will solve the problem of being "out-of-network".

6. On-the-job coverage! Make sure that your plan has 24-hour coverage. You don't want to become a victim of the insurance company's "loop-hole".

7. All health insurance companies do not increase rates the same way. I'm sure you have been on the receiving end of a "rate-increase" and it's not fun. There are companies that protect the insured against rate increases based on claims. We pay for the coverage in case something happens, then an insurance company can punish you by increasing your rates. The reason: you are now more of a risk to the company, and they will treat you accordingly.

8. Medical Bankruptcy. Make sure your policy has you and your loved ones covered in the event of a catastrophy. If you think the insurance company won't come after your assets to collect a debt, think again.

These check-points will assist you in choosing the right plan. Remember, it is your plan, your money, your family.

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About the Author

Doug Lewin, Lewin Insurance Advisors
4651 Salisbury Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32256

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