Choosing the right health insurance - The Explorer: Business

Choosing the right health insurance

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Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:18 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

A friend of mine is stressed out. Her 25-year-old daughter, though still a full-time student, is too old to remain on her mother's health insurance plan. She looked into the student insurance offered at her college, but it wasn't a very good one. Now the two of them feel stuck and unsure of what to do next.

I'm one of the very lucky people that get health insurance through their employer. I just fill out a few pieces of paper during the fall open enrollment period, and voila, I have coverage for me and my kids.

But a lot of people aren't so lucky. For some, their employers don't offer insurance. For others, their employer may offer insurance, but the cost to the employee is too high. Still others are unemployed and don't have access to a group plan at all.

Selecting a health insurance plan on your own can be a mind-boggling, headache-inducing process. Fortunately, there are several web sites that can help you.

First, you need to do a little homework. In order to pick the policy that's best for you and your family, you need to have a rough estimate of your future healthcare spending. Planforyourhealth.com has online worksheets that help you identify your health insurance priority, target your health expenses as well as how to stretch your healthcare dollar.

Once you've figured out what you need in an insurance policy, go to ehealthinsurance.com. This online resource for health insurance makes comparing the various policies, insurers and their costs easy. You can review medical insurance policies for individuals and families. There's even a special category for students needing coverage. The site also has information on dental insurance as well as health savings accounts.

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