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Different Types Of Health Insurance In California

(category: Insurance, Word count: 1133)
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Whether you buy group or individual health insurance in California, the options you have regarding the different types of health insurance are generally the same. In some groups you can even choose from available plans. These different types are traditional health insurance, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

California goes beyond the Federal requirements for offering health insurance to its residents. Examples of this include Industry Advantage plans (IAHP), short-term health policies, Insurance for high risk Individuals and special plans for children and teens.

Additional Health Insurance in California

The traditional health care delivery system is based on a fee-for-service type of arrangement. In a fee-for-service system, you pay or each itemized medical service you receive. In the days of the frontier, "Doc" often received a chicken as payment. Today, physicians are paid with money, lots and lots of it. Fee-for-service health insurance recognizes this practice and is designed to reduce or even eliminate your duty to pay directly for your medical care. Traditional health insurance comes in three parts:

California has four basic options for choosing a health care plan:

1. Health through an employer or association

2. Health Insurance through Income eligibility such as Medicaid

3. Health care for high risk individuals such as those that have had cancer or a heart attack

4. Private Insurance


Hospitalization covers defined expenses incurred while in the hospital. Generally, the insurance will pay for all of the covered services rendered by the hospital staff. However, if the insurance benefit is an indemnity payment, the payment will be for a fixed sum regardless of the actual expenses incurred. This fixed sum will usually be far below the daily charge actually made by the hospital.


This part of a traditional health plan covers the expensive costs of medical care other than the bill from the hospital. Services such as doctor visits, treatment charges, etc., are covered here. Medical/surgical usually has a deductible and requires co-payments by the insured (payments you make for charges not covered by the insurance), typically 20 percent of the doctor's fee.

Catastrophic or major medical

There are usually lifetime maximum payments that hospitalization and medical/surgical plans will pay, after which the well runs dry. Unfortunately, these maximums may not be sufficient to pay for all of the care required if a major illness or injury should strike, since such afflictions can eat up hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars worth of health services. Thus, catastrophic coverage adds to your umbrella of protection in an amount sufficient to protect you from the horrendous expenses of such serious and prolonged illnesses. These policies also fill in some of the gaps not covered by hospitalization or medical/surgical.

Health Maintenance Organizations or Private Insurance in California

The health maintenance organization (HMO) is a relatively new player in the health insurance game, although it has been around in a limited fashion since the 1930s. The idea behind an HMO is to pay one premium and receive all of your health care at no or a nominal additional cost. The point is to save money compared to traditional health plans that cost more to purchase and require more out-of-pocket payments from the insured. What you, the insured, give in exchange for reduced cost is a substantial loss of your freedom to choose who will take care of your health needs.

Preferred Provider Organizations

Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) seek to give both the benefits of traditional health plans and the money savings of HMOs. They do this by paying higher benefits as a reward for your using the doctors or hospitals they preselect for that purpose.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance does not pay for health care; rather it pays for lost wages caused by a disabling injury or illness.

How Health Insurance Is Priced

Ask anyone how health insurance is priced and you will get a simple answer: expensively! Beyond that, there are underwriting criteria used by health insurance providers, whether they are for-profit or, like Blue Shield/Blue Cross, nonprofit.

Underwriting Criteria


The older you are, the more likely you are to get sick; therefore, the higher your health insurance premiums will be.

Number of people covered

Many people buy family coverage rather than individual policies. This means that there will be adults as well as minor children protected by the same plan. Some companies will charge based on the size of the family. Others charge a basic family rate without regard to the number of members.


Unlike life insurance, where women get the better end of the bargain than men, in health insurance women often pay higher premiums. This is based on health insurance industry statistics which indicate that the female of the species tends to need medical care more often than the male.

Health history

Insurance operates on statistical probabilities. If you have had a poor health history, statistically you are more likely to have a more expensive health care future. This, in turn, means that you will pay higher premiums-if you can get health insurance at all.


The more likely you are to suffer injury or illness because of the work you do, the more likely the health insurance industry will be to charge excessively for benefits. This may be well and good for professional deep-sea divers. But the industry has begun to stretch the concept into areas that have nothing to do with the inherent danger of the work.


In your application for health insurance you will be asked questions about your personal habits. Your answers will have a lot to do with the cost of your premiums. If you smoke, you will probably pay more for health insurance. If you drink to excess, you will probably pay more for health insurance. If you are known to be under a great deal of stress, you may pay more for health insurance. California does reward the health care Insurance consumer with lower premiums if they have practiced good health policies.

One of the most important things you can do as a health care consumer is to engage in preventive care. Not only will you be able to spot serious diseases at an early stage, thereby increasing your chances of effective treatment and cure, but you should be able to save money as well, since it is usually far less expensive to treat a disease when it's a molehill rather than a mountain.

About The Author: is a leading broker of health insurance in California. We provide detailed information and cost breakdowns of Blue Cross, PacifiCare California and many more. Visit our site for a free quote and to help sort through the various health insurance plans to find the more affordable option for your family.

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Discount Dental Plans

(category: Insurance, Word count: 393)
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In general Dental plans are a low cost alternative to dental insurance. Dental care services become more affordable with discount dental plans for families in the lower income bracket. A dental plan is a kind of a club you join where we have a section of providers and consumers. In a discounted dental plan, the providers have agreed to provide the services at a discounted rate. As a consumer, one just has to display his or her membership card while visiting the provider. These discounted dental plans do not purport to insurance in any way, they are just discount programs.

Choosing a Dental Plan

While taking a decision on a discounted dental plan, it is important to be fully informed so that one can make a confident decision. The internet would be great tool to search for various plans in your area and compare them. Keeping the cost and benefits offered in mind, an informed decision can be made against the backdrop of your needs. Joining or enrolling in any of these plans is easy and quick; you just have to pay the fee using your credit card or electronic check and get the package online, in a matter of minutes. Many of these packages come with a 30 day money back guarantee, which means if you are not satisfied with the package or services, you can get your money back within 30 days without any questions being asked.

Many discounted dental plans offer ways to save on more than dental care, offering discounts on pharmacy prescriptions, vision etc. Keep these in mind while comparing the plans.

Using your discounted Dental plan

After you join a discounted dental plan you can start using the plan immediately without any waiting period. Benefits for most discounted dental plans are activated within 48 hours from enrolling.

When you use the discounted dental plan, make sure you call the empanelled provider dentist for an appointment. When you reach the dentist to keep your appointment, make sure you show the discount dental plan card to the receptionist to avoid confusion, it will ensure that you are charged the discounted rate in the first place.

The payment at the discounted rate is to be made at the time of taking the service. There are no hassles of paperwork and claims as in insurance plans.

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Business Insurance Online

(category: Insurance, Word count: 630)
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What do you know about business insurance? What you should know about business insurance are two things that are important when you are out to get business insurance for yourself. There are many factors that you will need to take into consideration. But the most important of them are:

1.Price: You need to know you are getting the best quote available. The only ways to ensure that is by getting quotes from at least five different insurance companies and compare them. When you do that, check all the pros and cons so you get the complete picture. Some insurance agencies charge a very small fee upfront but has a lot of other fees such as processing fees, inspection fees, documentation fees, etc which will take the price through the roof. Better still run a search through the Internet and get savvy about the running rate. Another good way to find a good quote is to ask around from friends and relatives. There is nothing better than a tried and trusted hand.

2.Stability: professional companies such as Standard & Poor's Insurance Rating Services, AM Best, Weiss Research, etc rate all insurance companies' performances. Make it a point to get sufficient information about the company you choose for your business. Be warned that there are millions of scams out there and unless you are very careful, you will end up in many more woes than without insurance. Be careful when you make the decision - a wrong decision can be the road to bankruptcy.

3.Service: Everyone in this world who buys something looks forward to have the best value for their money. When it comes to insurance the best value is synonymous with service. You can decide how good is your company through the way they answer to your queries and their patience in explaining the nitty-gritty of the insurance policy and its alternatives. You can also gauge the quality of their service from their references. You make it a point to ask for references and follow up on them. Make enquiries and decide only after you are thoroughly satisfied. Once you sign with the insurance company, you cannot do much if you find it giving you horrible service. Be sure before hand.

4.Be informed: All insurance companies need to be registered with the National Insurance Producer Registry. You should not look at insurance companies with a rating of less than B+ as they might be spelling trouble. You want to make sure there is no major black spot on your company; you need to check it out here whether the insurance company has any complaints against it. The Registry will also confirm the validity of the complaints and you can get a pretty accurate picture about the said insurance company from here.

Insurance agent: You can get your business insured through an insurance agent as well. They work on commission basis with the major insurance companies and if you get a good agent he will be able to guide you that can be the best policy and scheme for you. However, keep in mind that he works for commission and he will definitely be interested to earn the highest amount. Hence he will be more likely to promote the company that pays him the highest commission more aggressively. You accept his advice, and run your check on the company as well. When buying an insurance policy through an agent, you will have to ensure two things, i.e. (i) that the agent is a good worker and has a good reputation and (ii) that the company he is representing is above reproach. Ask references from the agent, ask for names of at 5-10 clients and check up on them. If the agent refuses to cooperate, change him/her immediately.

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Whole Life Insurance Tips

(category: Insurance, Word count: 372)
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Before deciding which kind of life insurance policy is best for you, you must know the key aspects of whole life insurance and how it will be beneficial for you. With a whole life insurance policy you can make your loved ones financially secure in the event of your death. Simply speaking, life insurance helps your loved ones by paying them upon your death.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance, which covers your whole life with timely premium payments as long as you live.

With increase level of premiums and cash values, this life insurance policy will be the best choice for long-term goals. The amount of guaranteed cash values could provide money to help during emergencies or temporary needs.

Features of Whole Life Insurance

1. Premiums generally are level and payable for life: In the starting premiums will be little higher than a term life insurance but as you go elder, the less expensive will be your annual premiums.

2. Dividends: Dividends are not guaranteed with whole life insurance but there is a chance of earning dividends.

3. Guaranteed Cash Values: In case of term life insurance, there are no cash values but with whole life insurance some money will be stored as cash values. If you give up the policy, accumulated guaranteed cash values would be yours. You can even take loan against your whole life insurance policy.

Before signing up with a whole life insurance policy, you should ask following questions to the agent appointed by Whole Life Insurance Company.

1. Which insurance is best for me, Whole Life Insurance or term life insurance?

2. How much coverage do I need?

3. How and how much discount can I get?

4. What are your Standard & Poor's ratings?

You must consider following aspects while choosing a Whole Life Insurance Company.

1. Expenses and commissions.

2. Guaranteed cash value.

3. Dividends and interest.

4. How do they adjust the death benefit?

You can get any necessary information from online life insurance companies with the help of fast online Internet access. Fast online Internet access and web sites available make you easily compare and get Whole life insurance online quotes.

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Life Insurance Comparison Term Or Whole Life

(category: Insurance, Word count: 614)
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When it comes to buying life insurance the most important comparison is between term insurance and whole life. Here is an explanation of each.

A term life insurance plan provides life insurance - plain and simple. A whole life insurance plan provides life insurance but also accrues value, which you can cash out or borrow against. It generally takes about three years to see any value and then it's not a lot of money. Term life insurance, in comparison to whole life, is considerably less costly for this reason. Some will refer to term life insurance as renting insurance rather than buying it. The reason for that attitude is that, much like auto insurance, you pay the premium each month or quarter or year to hedge against the bet that you might have an accident (in the case of term life insurance the accident is death). If you don't have that accident, in the case of auto insurance, or if you don't die in the case of life insurance, you don't get the money.

We all die, of course, so it might seem that term life insurance is a good bet and the best bet in comparison to whole life. You would, you surmise, always get your money back. The catch here is that term life insurance will end at a certain point - and that point may well be before you are deceased. Term life insurance plans are only good until a certain predetermined age - many are 70 years of age, others up to 80. For those of us who really need this coverage until the day we die these aren't good plans in comparison to whole life which will be in force until the day we die.

Term life insurance is a good buy in comparison to whole life, however, if all you are trying to do is set money aside to prevent your young family from becoming destitute in the event of your unexpected death. Once you reach the age of 70, the likelihood is that your children will be comfortably on their own and not dependent on your money or income to survive. Of course, if this is your only life insurance and it goes away before you die then your family or someone else must bear the cost of burying you. That is where whole life insurance is a favorable comparison to term life. Whole life will stay in place as long as you do, and will be there when it comes time to pay for your burial.

It may be, then, that in doing a comparison between term life insurance and whole life insurance, the results indicate a need for both. Many professionals suggest that you buy an amount of term life insurance that would keep your family bills paid for a predetermined time in the event of your untimely death, choosing a term that covers them only until they are old enough to take care of their bills on their own. These same professionals suggest as well that you also buy a whole life insurance policy for an amount of $7000-$12,000, merely to assure that your family will have money to bury you.

In other words, if you are 40 and your children are 6, 8 and 10, you're going to need about 15 years of term life insurance - until your youngest is through four years of college. You might decide, with three children and a spouse that you'll need several hundred thousand dollars of coverage. A Whole life policy of $10,000, however, would be plenty to provide a decent funeral and burial.

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How To Lower The Cost Of Your Car Insurance

(category: Insurance, Word count: 435)
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Buying auto insurance is an important part of your overall financial planning. The auto insurance premium rate varies depending on the company and the type of policy coverage you choose to have. Here are some guidelines to lower the cost.

Shop Around- Compare the costs by shopping around at least four to five insurance companies and comparing the quotes. Take the help of your friends, relatives and yellow pages. Your insurance company should offer fair price and posses excellent service records. Check the financial ratings of the company as it indicates the strength and stability of the company.

Ask for higher deductibles- Deductible is the amount of money that you pay before making any claim for an accident. The collision and comprehensive coverage are sold with the deductibles. Higher the deductibles lower will be the premium rate. Increasing the deductible from $200 to $500 may reduce the cost by 15 to 30 percent.

Drop collision and comprehensive Coverage on older cars- If your car is worth less than 10 times your premium in the current market, consider dropping the collision and comprehensive coverage.

Buy auto coverage from your existing insurer- Buy insurance coverage from your existing carrier. This may help you to reduce the cost. Sometimes low rates are available for the longtime customers.

Avoid double health coverage- If you think that you have enough health insurance, and then avoid health coverage with your auto policy. This will help you to reduce the cost.

Maintain a good credit record- Insurers are using the credit history while determining the price of insurance. Statistically, the lower your credit score, the more you are likely to file claims. A person with a good credit score is more likely to settle the accident without the support of the company. Try to maintain a good credit record.

Discounts with low profile car- Cars that are expensive to repair or attractive to thieves will have a higher rate. Consider buying a low profile or average car as it your insurer might come up with discounts for such a car.

Take advantage of the low mileage discount- Obtain some discount on premiums by driving less than the national average mileage recorded per year.

Consult about group discount- Sometimes you can get some discounts on group plans provided by your employer, or a business groups, or other associations. Find out whether such a plan is available.

Seek Car Safety discount- Some insurers offer discount if you keep your car equipped with air bag, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, automatic seat belts. Take advantage of this.

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Providing Hope For The Uninsured New Plans For Solving The Healthcare Crisis

(category: Insurance, Word count: 265)
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Perhaps there is hope for fixing the healthcare crisis after all. Hillary Rodham Clinton, author of a failed attempt to overhaul healthcare in the 90s, and Newt Gingrich, engineer of the 90's Republican Revolution largely brought on by Clinton's failed attempt, sat down together recently at a National Press Club session entitled "Ceasefire on Health Care" to discuss what they just might agree on.

And they did agree indeed on several issues including, much to the surprise of some, Gingrich's proposal to "voucherize" Medicaid. "There is enough money in the system right now to cover the uninsured," said Clinton. It's not that the meeting was that earth-shattering, but perhaps it is a sign of a growing trend to piecemeal fixes to the healthcare crisis rather than starting from scratch.

That we are, and have been, in a healthcare crisis is clear when you consider that over 44 million Americans have no insurance of any type. The reason for most is that they simply cannot afford any kind of coverage. Attempts to provide universal coverage or cause significant changes through federal mandates have failed.

According to the Bush administration, the solution would be moving healthcare toward new association-based health plans, including HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and consumer-driven health plans. "To make insurance more affordable, Congress must act to address rapidly rising health care costs," says President George W. Bush. "Small businesses should be able to band together and negotiate for lower insurance rates so they can cover more workers with health insurance

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Do You Need Rental Insurance

(category: Insurance, Word count: 175)
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Many renters don't stop to think about what happens if there is a fire, someone breaks in and steals their new TV or stereo, or a visitor slips and falls on their property. The sad truth is; you will be responsible! While your landlord has

insurance that covers the actual building, that coverage does not include your personal property or liability for injuries which occur in the space you rent ~ be it an apartment or a house and yard.

If a fire should destroy or damage your home, your landlord's insurance will cover the structure. It won't cover damage or loss of your belongings. Neither will it provide for the cost of temporary housing for you and your family.

You may think you don't own enough personal property to make the cost of insurance worthwhile. You're probably wrong! If you sit down and add up the cost of everything you own, you may be in for a big surprise. Consider what you have invested in such things as:

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Save Big Money On Your Car Insurance Now

(category: Insurance, Word count: 319)
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What if I could save you 10-20% of your yearly automobile insurance which can literally be hundreds of dollars? Very few people shop car insurance companies, yet we price shop in grocery and department stores every day.

It is not that difficult. Do a little research (5 - 10 minutes) on the type coverage you have and I will help take you forward. I have no real secret here for some of you; BUT, make yourself do the following:

1. Get online and on the phone and get at least 7-10 estimates on car insurance. The more estimates the better. You will be amazed at the discrepancies in pricing. That alone will probably result in major savings for you. Make sure that each company is providing quotes on the same coverage.

2. Make sure the automobile insurance companies know you are getting estimates from others. It may help you get an even better rate.

3. Use the highest automobile insurance deductible YOU can afford. In other words, if something happens to your car, how much would you be able to pay out of pocket BEFORE your insurance money kicks in?

4. Eliminating full coverage on an older, paid off car may or may not be the best plan for you. If the car is not worth much, it is generally better to reduce your coverage. Analyze the cost of full coverage and determine if you want to eliminate that portion of the insurance. How do you analyze? Ask your current agent and one or two of the ones you are getting quotes from. That is it! It is just that quick and easy!


Look for automobile insurance companies via Google and use your local yellow pages. Do it. Don't delay. And start enjoy the savings right now!

Let me know via comments how much you saved. Good luck.

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