As someone currently shopping for a new healthcare plan, I can tell you it’s not fun. At all. Plus, it’s not very easy either. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I got to write about Policygenius. They offer an easy way to shop for health insurance. Really easy, in fact.
What is Policygenius?
Policygenius is a free insurance comparison tool that lets you compare rates for:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Renters insurance
- Pet insurance
- Auto insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- And tons more
As you can see, Policygenius covers nearly every insurance you can think of, so it should be your first stop when shopping for any kind of insurance.
Today, however, I'm going to talk specifically about health insurance. Health Insurance is a big deal for those in the FI community. Hopefully Policygenius can help with that.
Policygenius application process
The application process is incredibly easy, it took me just over five minutes and is just ten steps. Let's get started:
Your first step is entering your zip code–that helps Policygenius figure out what insurance companies are available in your area.
In my home state, there were 49 plans to choose from (that will quickly be narrowed down by the following question).
Next, you have to enter your email address so Policygenius can save your progress as you go along, send you reminders about open enrollment, and other important deadlines.
Now we get into the nitty gritty–you'll enter some of your health and personal information, including whether or not you smoke.
Health insurance companies take that into consideration, and you may have a higher premium due to the health risks that come from smoking.
Next, you add your income to see if you qualify for any tax breaks–I did the average income of a person that lives in my area so I could get a picture of what insurance plans most people qualify for.
I didn't qualify for any tax credits.
Finally, you'll start to answer questions about what you're looking for in a health plan. Policygenius automatically starts with the average in your area, but you can obviously choose if you have a higher or lower budget.
Even Policygenius knows people hate talking about deductibles, but they do make it easy to understand, and again, set the average in your area.
As you can see, just from this step, the original 49 plans that were offered has dropped down to just 14–which is still a decent selection.
Unless you really want the ability to book specialists yourself, going with a health care plan that requires referrals will be your cheaper option–it was about $30/month cheaper for this example.
In my experience, getting a referral to see a specialist isn't difficult, it's just an extra step you have to take.
If you want to keep any of your doctors, you'll need to find an insurance plan that covers them. Typically, this isn't a problem, but some insurance companies require you to see a doctor in their network. If you don't care about your doctors and just need someone to perform your yearly physical, this shouldn't matter too much to you.
Personally, I like my primary care doctor a lot, so I put her name in to see if any plans around me include her practice (quite a few do).
You do the same thing here as in the step above, but instead, you're choosing which prescriptions are a must-have. This is important if you have any medical condition that requires a certain drug or treatment. If you find out later that your insurance doesn't cover it, you could be paying hundreds, if not thousands out of pocket.
As Policygenius points out–they have your interest in mind. With this step, they'll organize your insurance options by the things you value most in a plan.
You can manipulate these preferences when you get your list of insurance rates, so don't worry too much about this step.
Insurance plan options
Overall, I found Policygenius incredibly helpful, and they do show you a large variety of plans. I was offered plans that ranged in price from $171/month (with a $7,900 deductible) to $553/month (with a $1,500 deductible).
Personally, I'm thinking of settling somewhere in the middle with a plan for $324/month (with a $2,250 deductible).
If you click on the plan you want (I used the $324/month plan), you'll be shown the details of the plan, like so:
As you can see, there's always the fine print that comes with each plan. While there's only a $2,250 deductible (that's low in the grand scheme of health insurance), many services are only covered 50% after you reach that deductible.
Although it can seem like glum news, the fact that Policygenius spells out the plans in clear, plain English, is a welcome change to dealing with insurance companies directly.
Enrolling in a plan
If you decide to sign-up for health insurance through Policygenius, you have to enter your name and email one more time, and then you'll be sent information on your specific plan.
In my case, I was given a number to call. I spoke with a helpful representative that explained the enrollment process–it's a lot of the same questions you already answered. I didn't enroll right then but had a friend who did use Policygenius to get health insurance in the past.
His experience was a little different than mine. He ended up having to call Policygenius back because he never received any information about the plan he had signed up for. It was a simple error–his email was entered wrong into the system. After that, it was smooth sailing.
Why you should use Policygenius
Policygenius definitely makes finding health insurance easier, and I would recommend it to anyone who has to search for healthcare through the marketplace.
While signing up for the actual plan can be a little bit of a headache, simply because you have to answer a ridiculous amount of questions, Policygenius spells out exactly what your plan will offer, which can at least help you narrow down your options.
And, the best part is, it's completely free! So, there's really nothing you can loose from trying out Policygenius. They have a helpful staff that can answer the simplest, or most complex questions about insurance plans (and let's be honest, you'll likely have a lot of questions).
- Getting Health Insurance When You're Self-Employed Or Retired Early
- Planning For Healthcare In Early Retirement