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Give yourself the gift of good health (insurance)

Andrew Freiburghouse | December 20, 2010

This is the season for buying presents, but is it also time to consider a gift for yourself that will last for years to come? Good health lasts a lifetime but attaining it requires effort. Regular health care is a must. Buying individual health insurance isn't cheap, but doesn't it offer greater rewards than this holiday season's hot toy?

With all the changes to health care law, the best place to start shopping for individual health insurance is HealthCare.gov. The federal government launched the site to give consumers a one-stop shop for information about health care reform, and to assist in the health care insurance shopping experience. Consider HealthCare.gov the Google of health insurance. On the website, you can find a list of health insurance products available in every state, along with contact information.

Here are two more health insurance shopping tips:

  1. Make a list of your health care concerns or issues. List any known ailments or chronic conditions (diabetes, asthma, etc). Note any doctors you already see that you'd like to keep, according to a Consumer Reports report. When comparing policies make sure all your issues are addressed and your doctor is a member of the plan you buy.
  2. Money is the next priority. If you don't have a budget, make one. Whether you would be better served by a higher monthly premium and lower deductible or lower premiums and a higher deductible is the main consideration, according to an Insure.com report. Other factors to consider are your overall health needs, and whether you can afford the one-time hit of your chosen policy's deductible if you do need to use your insurance.
The act of giving is a wonderful thing, but while you're making your lists, and checking them twice, make sure you consider your own needs. After all, your good health will be enjoyed by more than just you. Really, the gift of good health insurance is a gift not just for you, but also for the others who care about you.

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