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How to Avoid the Hidden Traps: What Some Insurance Companies Won't Tell You
Date:7/14/2009

. Routine check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent common health problems. Check to see if your plan places limits on preventative care.

2. Rate increases: Some service providers can raise rates two to three times a year. Look for plans that only evaluate your premiums on an annual basis, leaving you with no unexpected mid-year surprises.

3. Caps on benefits: Insurance plans have caps on the amount of coverage they will provide in a year and in a lifetime. Look for plans that will cover you at least up to $2 million.

4. Caps on prescription drugs: Many Americans spend more money on prescription drugs than any other medical treatment. Prescription drugs costs are rising in the midst of a weak economy. Make sure that your plan covers the majority of the cost. This is especially important for the elderly, children and those with health complications.

5. Premiums: Be sure you understand how your premium relates to your total health care spending. Make sure you know how it impacts your deductible, co-pay and lifetime benefit caps. It is important to look at the overall amount you will spend on healthcare rather than just the cost of premiums.

6. Deductibles: High deductibles mean that you will pay more out of your pocket before your plan kicks in to cover the health care charges. In the event of an unexpected medical condition, a high deductible can often leave you in financial distress.

7. Out-of-pocket maximum: Make sure you look for a company that does not require you to pay over-the-top costs for your medical coverage. This will ensure that your insurance company is paying for the bulk of your coverage and that you will not be left with unexpected costs should there be a health issue.

8. Co-Pay: Doctor visits can add up, especially when you least expect them to. Make sure you know how much your co-pay will be and compare it with your deductible. Does your plan limit the number of co-
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