before. (That is not to say that the health plan is necessarily not a good health plan just because you haven’t heard of the insurance company before but it just means that it would be prudent to research them a little bit online or speak with a knowledgeable independent CA insurance agent).
3. Be very, very, very skeptical about a California discount health plan. (Remember, discount health plans are not health insurance! Just try searching on any major search engine for discount health plan warning and you can see all of the warning flags that go up from all of the state insurance departments and other .GOV websites).
4. Enroll in your employer’s group health insurance plan IF your employer is willing to foot the bill. (Even if you have a problem with your employer’s group health insurance carrier it still is usually better to stay with the plan IF your employer is footing a large portion of the premium cost).
5. Get quotes for your family members for an CA individual medical plan IF you are on a group health plan and your employer will not cover the cost to add on the rest of your family to your health coverage. (Assuming that your family is healthy then California individual health plans will almost always be cheaper than a California group health plan – make sure to scrutinize the differences between the group health plans and the individual health plans that you will be comparing as many individual health plans do not cover pregnancies [maternity insurance] unless you pay an additional premium while your group health plan probably does cover maternity automatically).
6. Research the companies, policies, networks, doctors, clinics, and hospitals that are in your area of California. (The availability of a favorite doctor on a particular company’s plan could be the deciding advantage for you to choose that company over another company with a similar health plan but without your favorite doctor on their network).
7. Ask questions of your health insurance agent/health insurance broker so that you fully understand the options that are available to you.
8. Change your policy. (Don’t be afraid to admit that you made a mistake if the policy that you applied for was not what you thought that it was).
9. Review your health insurance needs every year. (Your health insurance needs will very likely change every couple of years and if nothing else it will give you a chance to see if your company’s rates are still competitive).