FOOD & FITNESS / SEP. 17, 2014
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How to Buy Health Insurance and Stay Healthy

Health, wealth and happiness = great life

Health, wealth and happiness are the three big desirables in life. Health, you will notice, comes first in the equation and rightly so since life is either not possible or diminished without a healthy body and mind. 

When you first start working and making your first few pay-checks the last thing you’re likely to be thinking about is health insurance. You’re young, happy and healthy, why would you?!

The sad thing is, our health is one of the most unpredictable things on the planet, you never know when you could be struck down with any illness or have an accident, or the impact it could have on your life.

In some countries there are government schemes to cover health and therefore insurance is not a necessity, but due to long waiting times, reported substandard care and often insalubrious surroundings, private healthcare can be a preferred option for many. For other countries, without the saving grace that is government supported healthcare, health insurance is vital. 

Whatever your reason for buying health insurance, here are seven steps to follow to ensure you get the best deal for you:

# 1 - Don’t automatically choose the package offered by your employer

You may be offered health insurance by your employer - if you are, check to make sure it’s the best deal for you. If you have pre-existing medical conditions,. you need to check that these are covered. Perhaps you have a heart condition or something equally as serious - this may not be covered on certain plans. Many psychological issues are not covered on health insurance - if these run in your family, make sure you have that type of cover on your insurance. 

Your insurance is there to help you out of a difficult situation when you need it most, so make sure it covers you for what you need it for. 

# 2 - Don’t assume the big health insurers are the best 

Shop around and see what deals you can find, but remember to read the small print - are you covered for everything you might need?

# 3 - Try price comparison sites to get the best deals

You can find the majority of companies offering health insurance listed on price comparison sites. Spend time looking through these sites, checking which levels of cover you want. Plans generally rise in price as you opt for more comprehensive cover, so check that you are not being over charged for something you don’t want or need. 

# 4 - Provide accurate health details

Once you’ve decided which are the best plan options for you, you will be asked a series questions relating to your medical history and the medical history of your family. Your answers to these will affect your cover price but don’t be tempted to be dishonest through concern that your price will be higher, or you may find down the line that your problem isn’t covered because it was caused by a pre existing medical condition or something you were aware of but failed to mention in your application. 

# 5 - Opt for the plan that is best for you

You usually need to sign up for a minimum of one year; of course you can change or cancel your plan within that time period but there is often a penalty for doing so. One year isn’t very long, so think about how your lifestyle will be over that year and sign up for what suits you best and what you can afford as monthly payments. 

You can also check to see if you can get more comprehensive family plans. Often these will work out cheaper and can give you piece of mind that everyone you care about is covered for accident or illness. 

# 6 - Make payment 

When making the payment for your plan, make sure that you’re happy the payment system is legitimate and that you have provided the correct contact and bank details. If in any doubt, call the company to check the information before you submit the form. 

# 7 - Print all documentation 

When you’ve completed the transaction and agreed your direct debit terms, print all of the documentation. Your documents may get lost in the post so you need to make sure you have proof of your payment. 

# 8 - Relax 

You’re done. Now you can feel safe in the knowledge that you and your family are covered for medical emergencies of any kind. 

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