In times when saving seems like the best possible ideas, we can try to save on many things such as electricity bills, water, consumption in general … However, saving on insurance is a very delicate issue, especially if we talk about Medical insurance. We are going to review the most frequent questions (and their answers) about how to choose health insurance. In fact, it is much more interesting to consider how to select a good insurance than, directly, to look for the cheapest insurance. When choosing medical insurance we must take into account various points and concepts to be able to be clear before contracting the pros and cons and avoid problems in addition to health. These are some of the questions that we should ask ourselves and the answers to be able to choose the health insurance that suits our needs:
What health insurance are there in the market?First you have to know what type of policy best suits us. In the market there are several types of health insurance that cover the coverage included -medical, dental-, as well as the geographical area -local, national, international coverage-, ages or profiles -autonomous professionals, foreigners residing in Spain, Spanish students abroad-.
Health insurance modalities
Medical chart:You can choose the doctor and the center that best suits those arranged by the insurance company. It is the most requested option by most customers.
You can go to the doctor you want, this option can be in Spain, or worldwide, the bill is paid for the medical services received and the company reimburses you a percentage of the bill, this is usually between 80% and the 100% that has been paid.In certain cases , reimbursement medical insurance allows you to go to any specialist from the insurer’s medical chart, covering 100% of the expenses in this type of case and without having to manage a reimbursement, these are the so-called mixed reimbursement insurance.
What does health insurance cover?The covers most usual of a health insurance are made up of five groups of medical care:
– Primary medicine : General and pediatric medical care, ambulance and emergency services (home or outpatient). – Specialized assistance : Medical attention given by the specialist in terms of diagnostic tests or surgical interventions, in consultation or during hospitalization. – Hospitalization: In this case, all services before a surgical intervention. – Health programs: Specialized programs for clients who need it: preparation for childbirth, cardiovascular care, smoking cessation and others. – Other coverage: 24-hour telephone medical assistance, psychology, second medical opinion, emergency assistance abroad.
What kinds of tests and specialties does the insurance include?Find out about the various medical and surgical specialties and diagnostic tests offered by the Insurer since they can be accessed with each insurance.
Does age influence when hiring health insurance?In general, age is important, since certain insurances have a maximum contracting age, such as 64 years of age. But there are certain insurance companies that provide insurance aimed at people over 60 years of age, with special coverage for that age .
Does the place of residence affect?Yes, it must be ensured that the insurance company we choose has a medical record in our place of residence . For this reason, prior to contracting medical insurance, you should consult the doctors and centers near our home.
Can I choose the specialist I need?This is an important point, since in order to finish opting for medical insurance or another, it is necessary to check if our referral doctors are arranged by the insurer.
Should it matter that the insurer has its own centers, beyond the subsidized centers?It is usually advantageous if the company has its own medical centers exclusively for its clients, or concerted medical centers in which the clients of the medical insurance company are preferentially treated. As well as it can happen that in the company’s own centers, as these are multispecialties, one saves the trips since it will be possible to be attended for different diagnostic tests.
Services to be evaluated in the medical centers arranged in the medical insuranceThe centers, both their own as well as those that are arranged, that the company provides, as well as: the state of the facilities, accessibility, availability of parking, rooms, being able to have a bed for a companion in the face of hospitalization, the menus, and the cafeteria should be assessed . Beyond this, we must be informed if the centers have the latest treatments and technological advances and that they provide the best specialists and newest techniques on the market.
Can dental insurance be included in health insurance?Several of the medical insurances include basic dentistry, which covers everything from extractions, derived stomatological cures to cleanings of the mouth. Some more complete than others.
Can I directly access all the coverage of a medical insurance?Before contracting health insurance , you should check if it contemplates waiting periods: A grace period , is a measure that tends to occur very frequently in medical insurance, is based on the period of time – which is computed by the months that have elapsed from the effective date of the insurance – during said period does not Some of the coverages included within the policy guarantees come into force.
Do I have to pay to go to the doctor?In general , medical insurance – not reimbursement – brings a co-participation in the cost of services or co-payment . The copayment is a minimum amount already established that the insured must pay for each use of healthcare services. Copayments are a measure implemented by most health insurance companies to raise awareness about the responsible use of medical services. With the co-payment, generic increases in the premium to the entire client portfolio are avoided due to the distribution of this cost based on the use of medical services made by each client.
Will I have payment facilities or discounts on my health insurance?Some insurers offer discounts based on the frequency of payment if it is annual, semi-annual, etc., by seniority, or by number of insured. They allow you to save if you hire for the first time.
Other services offered by health insurersBeyond medical and dental insurance, an insurer can offer a wide and varied offer of health services, which can be linked to personal well-being. It is therefore important to find out what other health services the company provides, such as: assisted reproduction, aesthetic solutions, laser eye surgery and others.
What to consider before choosing an insurance company for our health insurance?In addition to all the obvious issues related to health insurance coverage and benefits, it is logical that the choice of insurance company is also influenced by other issues, in fact, it is very important that once the model of medical insurance we want is clear, Let’s go on to assess the different options including, of course, the insurance company in which we will trust our policies. There are a number of basic issues that we should always try to incorporate into this choice.
- The experience in medical assistance of an insurer, its trajectory and its implementation is undoubtedly a very valuable element to take into account. Here there are issues such as whether it is part of an insurance group with an international presence and prestige in this regard, as well as equally important lateral issues such as the choice of professionals and concerted hospitals and even possible coverage abroad.
- It is also very important to assess the communication between the insurer and the insured . Nowadays the communication channels are increasingly wide and it is vital to be very clear how assured that the response of our insurer will always be effective, fast and clear, all through simple contact models: not only from the point of view of view of immediate communication if not incorporating issues such as consultation services via the Internet, online medical advice, test inquiries, etc.
- We have previously dedicated a section to dental health , it is also important to stop at this before choosing an insurance company, keep in mind that a large majority of insurance companies within their basic policies only come to offer free consultations and a certain percentage of coverage on the most common treatments, there are even some that do not offer this type of coverage.
- Of course, assessing both the medical chart that the insurer offers us and the concerted hospital centers and the distance that separates us from them is very important, basically we must use common sense and the most comfortable elements within these charts and centers.
- Health insurance in some companies, when the assistance is used repeatedly, can carry penalties or cost overruns . This is also very important to be previously assessed by the user before hiring any type of policy.