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Credit Card Debt Reduction - 3 Tips To Lowering Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt can be reduced through lower rates or negotiating for reduced balances. With reduced interest, you can pay off the principal quicker with the same monthly payment. The other approach is debt settlement, which eliminates part of...

Discover What to do When Your Credit Worth is Damaged Due to Circumstances out of Your Control
First of all, letís examine exactly what credit worth means and how it affects your financial life. Your credit worth, as defined by the financial industry, is the overall picture of your financial health that is used by lenders to determine your...

Does Your Real Estate Deal Have A Wiggle Room?
Experienced real estate investors know that you make your deal when you buy. If you pay too much or have not done your due diligence research, that's tough, because you're stuck with the deal after the close. A buyer still has some wiggle...

How To Best Negotiate A House Deal
Whether itís selling your home or buying a home, more often than not youíll come across a stage where youíd have to negotiate. Negotiation is the art of getting what you want at your terms and conditions. Of course, it isnít that easy and it takes...

How To Improve Your Credit Score - Even If You Are Not A Financial Expert!
If you have less than perfect credit, and you've ever tried getting a loan or credit card, then you know just how much poor credit can cost you. So, the next step to getting yourself completely out of debt is learning how to clean up your credit...

Affordable, Comprehensive Health Insurance: How to Get What You Need

Affordable, Comprehensive Health Insurance: How to Get What You Need

Your health should be your most important life concern; after all, your life depends on it. But it's difficult to maintain good health without adequate insurance coverage.

According to the National Coalition on Health Care, health costs for 2003 equaled $1.7 trillion, rising 7.7 percent from the year before. And the cost of health care has continued to rise each year thereafter. Moreover,experts now predict that in 2006, family health insurance premiums will rise to an average of more than $14,500--making a very real dent in Americans' pocketbooks.

With all this doom and gloom circulating, you may find yourself wondering how you can ever keep pace. But with some research, knowledge and negotiation, you and your family can have the coverage you need when you need it most--and at a price you can afford.

Know What to Ask

While there is no magic formula for finding affordable, comprehensive health insurance, knowledge is your best weapon for waging war against the high cost of health care. And the best way to get the knowledge you need to help you find affordable health insurance is to ask questions--lots of them.

Start your search by making a list of specific, detail-oriented questions you can ask insurers. Your goal should be to gather as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision regarding your health insurance.

Focus on coverage first; then examine costs.

The following list will help get you started:

1. What percentage of costs are covered?

2. What care is excluded?

3. Are the following covered?

-Preexisting conditions


-Mental health

-Maternity and well-baby care

-Alternative care, such as chiropractic and acupuncture

4. May I choose my primary care physician?

5. Do I need referrals to specialists?

6. What are my limits on health care?

7. Is there a list of in-network care providers?

8. How quickly can I see my physician?

9. How do you define emergency care? How does this differ from urgent care?

10. Is there an annual limit on the services I receive? If so, what is it?

11. How much are the monthly premiums?

12. What are the deductibles I must meet?

13. What are my coinsurance costs?

14. Are out-of-town emergencies covered?

15. How much do I pay out-of-pocket for out-of-network physician visits?

Quality health insurance agents won't mind you asking questions; in fact, they'll expect it!

When you talk to insurers, record the answers each gives you in a notebook for future reference. That way, you can compare information as you go along.

Know Where to Look

The next step in finding affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage is to find a qualified insurer.

First, talk to your friends and family to get their feedback and recommendations. They may have valuable insight to offer that can save you time and money.

Going online is a great way to do some research at this point. Check out major health insurers' Web sites, including their "About Us" pages and consumer testimonials. Finding out how previous and present customers feel about their experiences with insurers

can help you determine whether or not you want to do business with them, too.

Check out insurer ratings by going to the Better Business Bureau Web site. Here you can search company financial and customer service ratings by name.

Independent rating companies like A.M. Best and Weiss Ratings are also a great resource, and can be reached online as well.

Your state's department of insurance can provide you yet more information on health insurance plans and companies/agents licensed to conduct business in your state.

Finally, consider using an insurance marketing service like This is a free service that specializes in matching you to health insurance agents in your area who have the affordable, comprehensive health coverage you're looking for. You can apply for health insurance quotes online or by phone in a matter of minutes, and the health questions you answer will help you make a connection with the most qualified insurers for your individual situation.

Upon making contact with insurance agents, it's simply a matter of asking the right questions (as listed above) and choosing the policy with the best coverage at the lowest price.

Take Control

Once you've chosen an insurer, garnered the information you need, and compared health insurance policies, negotiate with your insurance provider for an individual or family rate you can afford. Discounts are often available for non-smokers and non-drinkers, as well as those living healthy lifestyles and working in low-risk jobs.

Before you sign anything, make sure you understand all your health plan's exclusions, limitations and costs. In most states you'll have from 10-30 days to examine your new health insurance policy and make changes or cancel it with no repercussions; but it's always best to get all the facts and make the best decision possible the first time around to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary expense.

You should receive a copy of your binder, or temporary health insurance policy, shortly after you purchase your policy. Keep this in a safe place as evidence of coverage until your new, permanent health policy arrives.

As soon as you receive it, review your new policy's declaration page carefully to make sure everything you and your insurer agreed upon is included. If items are missing, now is the time to bring it up with your agent--not later, when a health claim you've submitted is denied.

Get What You Need

If you're willing to take some time, do your homework, and shop around, you can find affordable, comprehensive health insurance that will help you maintain a full, healthy life...regardless what the experts say.

So put your best foot forward--and go to it! _________________________________________________________________ ____

About InsureMe

InsureMe, an Englewood, Colorado-based company, links agents nationwide with consumers shopping for insurance. Specializing in auto, home, life, long-term care and health insurance quotes, the InsureMe network provides thousands of agents with insurance leads every year. For more information, visit

About the author:

Penny Hagerman is a copywriter and insurance information expert based in Denver, Colorado. She holds a BA in Communications/Journalism, and contributes years of writing and editing experience in print media and Internet communications through her informative articles.


Negotiation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The first step in negotiation is to determine whether the situation is in fact a negotiation ... The book's approach, referred to as Principled Negotiation, ...
Negotiation Seminars Negotiation Training Negotiations Consultants ...
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Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
Negotiation training, research, and publications from the world's foremost authority on negotiation and dispute resolution.
PON: Harvard Negotiations Project
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The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. - 3k - Cached - Similar pages
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Principled Negotiation
Principled negotiation is the name given to the interest-based approach to negotiation set out in the best-known conflict resolution book, Getting to Yes, ...
Salary Negotiation and Job Offer Tutorial
Job-seekers: Learn the basics (and advanced techniques) of the art and strategy of salary negotiation (getting the salary you want) in this tutorial.
Salary Negotiation and Job Offer Tutorial -- Map of the Tutorial
Site map to an expert (and free) tutorial on the art and strategy of salary and job offer negotiation. A guide to assist every job-seeker with salaries.
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This article and free worksheet help you negotiate fair compromises with people whose goodwill you need. It highlights the importance of good negotiation ...
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JobStar--Salary Negotiation Strategies
JobStar is a public library sponsored guide to information for the job search. Sections useful for California are: 1500 job hotlines, calendar of job and ...
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Subscribe to newsletter with negotiating tips and techniques.
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Negotiation Articles
Negotiation articles for the busy entrepreneur written by a diverse group of experts, speakers, professionals, consultants, and marketing companies.
CareerJournal | Negotiating Tips - Salary Negotiation Tips ...
Salary Negotiation Tips - When it's time to negotiate salary changes, trust Career Journal to give you the best and most current career salary information.
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